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Gandhi Jayanti 2017: Eminent personalities support Swachhata Hi Seva campaign

To mark the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti (October 2), names such as Anjum Chopra, Shayama Chona and Rani Rampal have been lending their support to Swachhata Hi Seva mission.

environment Updated: Oct 02, 2017 16:41 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Swachhata Hi Seva,Gandhi Jayanti,Narendra Modi
Indian men’s and women’s Hockey teams extended their support to ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign, held 15 days prior to Gandhi Jayanti (on October 2).

‘Swachhata (cleanliness) is for each of us to practice,” says Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoting Mahatma Gandhi, in his letter to industrialists and noted personalities, seeking their support for the Swachhata Hi Seva movement. The initiative, meant to encourage widespread participation in cleanliness initiatives across India, has been joined by names such as actors Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma and former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, after several celebs were invited to dedicate their time for the cause of Swachh Bharat by the Prime Minister’s Office.

On September 28, Anjum Chopra, former captain of the Indian Women Cricket team, initiated the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign at a Government High School in her native Anangpur Village in Surajkund, Faridabad, thereby cleaning the area. “Greenery cannot exist in a dirty environment,” says Chopra, adding, “I am enthralled to be a part of the Swachh Bharat [campaign]. We can encourage wide spread support through this campaign, and participation in cleanliness initiatives across India. There is nothing like a clean environment. If we maintain clean surroundings, we won’t have infections such as dengue, typhoid and malaria around. Since school, we’ve been taught that cleanliness is next to godliness. The roads leading to the President’s house are the cleanest in the country, and if Lutyens’ Delhi is so clean, why can’t other places across the city be the same?The idea is to keep our roads clean and encourage people to grow trees.”

Padma Shri Awardee and President of NGO Tamana, Dr Shayama Chona has also been relentlessly contributing towards the cause. On October 2, a cleanliness drive at Ekta Basti, RK Puram, will be carried out along with a street play and dance presentation. “We have adopted the Bhavar Singh camp and Ekta basti in RK Puram, and are carrying out cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns in the areas where we will sensitise the local community. We will record the progress that we have made towards attaining cleanliness in the areas, and will encourage the habitants to ensure sustainability of the project,” she says.

Students from Tamana, NGO for multiply challenged and autistic individuals, along with President, Dr Shayama Chona , created awareness among the street dwellers in Vasant Vihar on the importance of Swachh Bharat.

“It’s not about one single day’s work; groups are being made wherein students from Tamana school will create awareness among slum dwellers on the outbreak of life-threatening diseases due to poor sanitation and hygiene caused by rodents, pests and vectors, through slogans such as ‘Swachhata hi Seva hai’, ‘Swachhata hi Jeevan hai’, ‘Swachhata hi Sehat hai’.We are contributing to the Swachhata mission to the best of our ability and hope that we are able to sensitise and awaken many more to join the movement,” she adds.

On September 28, a street play highlighting the importance of Swachh Bharat was staged at the Bhavar Singh camp in Vasant Vihar, followed by an inspection of the cleanliness and disposal systems of the area and a cleanliness drive was also organised by the team.

The Indian Men and Women’s Hockey teams, with coaches and support staff, also recently conducted a cleanliness activity at Kanminike Colony, Kumbalgodu Gram panchayat, near Bengaluru. They made an appeal to the public to keep their surroundings clean. “We cleaned the village area,” says Haryana’s Rani Rampal, captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey team. She adds, “It’s our duty to keep the country clean. It’s our country, and it is our responsibility to keep it clean. Only when we have a clean and green country can we say that we are proud to be Indians.”

Indian women’s Hockey team captain Rani Rampal (fifth from left), her teammates, and members of the Indian Men’s Hockey team took part in a cleanliness drive at Kanminike Colony, Kumbalgodu Gram panchayat, near Bengaluru.

Padma Shri surgical gastroenterologist and liver transplant surgeon Saumitra Rawat, from Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, also kicked off the campaign with a cleanliness drive at Maya Enclave in Delhi. “I have spoken to doctors at the hospital who have individually started conducting drives. I undertook a cleanliness campaign at the colony premises, and also involved the local MLAs and MCD officials. I will go to my birth place in village Sarkar, Jhansi to inspire others to be a part of the environment,” says Rawat.

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First Published: Oct 02, 2017 16:41 IST