The vision of Gandhi of an ideal village included perfect sanitation, alleys and village streets free of avoidable dust. Gandhiji’s birthday is celebrated as Swachhta Diwas. In 2015 it was observed by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that Gandhiji’s birthday should be celebrated as Rastriya Swachhta Diwas every year in order to embark the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by him in 2014.
Significance of Swachhta Diwas
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is an initiative to ensure that India is 100% free from open defecation. Over the years, there have been various environmental, health, and socioeconomic initiatives that the government has adopted for the well-being of our country. While many of them achieved their goal, some of them are still close to completion.
The occasion of Rastriya Swachhta Diwas is a timely reminder of how a clean environment has multiple benefits. Not only does it keep the ecosystem hygienic, it also helps reduce air- and water-borne diseases. The day is observed to promote cleanliness and educate people on how they can contribute to keeping Mother Nature clean and green.
With this initiative, we celebrate Prime Minister’s call to achieve Sankalp Se Siddhi to make India clean and safe through determination. Over the years, the government has taken various environmental, medical and socio-economic initiatives for the well-being of our country. Therefore, this is a great opportunity for us to assess how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
Progress of Swatch Bharat Abhiyan’s Swachhta Diwas over the years
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth on October 2, 2014, the day which will be celebrated as the Swachhta Diwas, and encouraged the people of the country to swing the brooms to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean and hygienic India. Generations of Indians have suffered from lack of service to hygiene and the scourge of poor hygiene.
In 2017: Swachhata ki Seva, revived the efforts of the Swachh Bharat missions throughout the country and to glorify Gandhi Jayanti. On October 2, many states, cities and districts fulfilled this commitment. In the previous year 2016 many states such as Kerala, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and many villages & districts from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka declared themselves Open defecation free (ODF). Events during the cleaning program were conducted on the occasion of the Sarvatra Swachhta Diwas festival in Sailashri Vihar, Bhubaneswar as part of the Swachh programme.
In 2020 when the world was battling with the pandemic cleaning and hygiene issues became even more relevant. On the Rastriya Swachtta Divas 2020 the most important thing was Proper disposal of masks and PPE equipment is also crucial, as waste can end up in the sea and cause further pollution and related problems. Personal hygiene habits should be instilled in everyone from a very young age and awareness was raised through digital modes by making quotes, memes and posts to inspire people to keep their surroundings clean in order to live a healthy life.
The initiative is in line with the invitation of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to celebrate Rastriya Swachtta Day on 2 October 2021
PepsiCo India attracts +200,000 students from +200 schools in +50 cities in India. In line with Rastriya Swachh Divas, as part of the initiative they organized events like Nukkad Natak and installation of recycled plastic benches. Through this event, the aim was to raise awareness of responsible handling of plastic waste, sorting and recycling and so far over 250 local vendors have joined the campaign.
A street show was hosted in Vrindavan to raise public awareness of the cleaning and handling of plastic waste. The show was organized by PepsiCo India in collaboration with United Way Delhi and Vrindavan Nagar Nigam.