New Delhi: A volunteer group in Delhi called 'We Mean To Clean' planted 600 ecologically valuable trees in Delhi. Earlier, they transformed a slum in Kirti Nagar, Delhi. Swachhata Hi Seva is fast becoming a movement that the people themselves are running. Many such organisations run by common people is the feature of the overall Swachh Bharat programme – citizens becoming inspiring leaders, owning the movement and running it.
Enthusiastic cleanliness initiatives among the people have become a feature ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat initiative. Lending further impetus towards a cleaner India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to the nation during his recent Mann Ki Baat address to dedicate the last few weeks of September towards Swachhata Hi Seva, an initiative to pay a real tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Gandhi Jayanti.
On September 15 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind had launched the Swachhata Hi Seva movement in Uttar Pradesh from a village in Kanpur. Ever since the movement started, it has begun to generate action and positivity. However, with the birthday of Prime Minister Modi on September 17, it has taken off on a higher trajectory. Cleanliness volunteers, NGOs and many karyakartas have enthusiastically dedicated themselves to Shramdaan towards cleanliness initiatives to celebrate his birthday as a 'Seva Divas'.
It also came to light that the Prime Minister had written touching personal letters inviting people from across the nation and across domains to participate in the movement and spread the message of cleanliness. Accomplished Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor took to social media to thank PM Modi for honouring him with an invite to participate in the Swachhata Hi Seva movement and assured he would do his best. Reports said the PM had written to Malayalam superstar Mohanlal inviting him to participate in the movement. K T Rama Rao, young politician from Telangana belonging to the TRS party, also received a letter from PM Modi, reports said.
Most ministries, government departments and prominent public servants have been carrying out cleanliness activities in every state across the nation. While Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu was seen administering Swachhata Hi Seva pledges to citizens, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh was seen picking up the broom by himself to clean his office.
While it was natural for government machinery to take up cleanliness activities for Swachhata Hi Seva, well-known citizens too have ardently joined the movement. In Maharashtra, music director Anu Malik was seen cleaning a place along with a number of citizens. Telugu movie superstar couple Nagarjuna and Amala along with citizen volunteers conducted cleanliness activities in Hyderabad. Actor Ravikishan led cleanliness initiatives in Mumbai. Internationally renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik first led a group of citizens in cleaning up the Puri beach in Odisha and then created a sand art wishing PM Modi on his birthday.
From Kargil to Ramanathapuram, Manipur to Maharashtra, a renewed sense of eagerness was seen for cleanliness. While the cleanliness movement was kicked off in Kargil with great energy, the District Collector and municipal officials participated in cleanliness activities.
Apart from the sheer geographic spread of the movement in just 2 days, yet again, just like its mothership Swachh Bharat, citizens became engines for the movement. NCC cadets of girls' wings of Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district cleaned the offices and several areas of the Poonch district. The cadets also took out an awareness rally with a message of clean India. Volunteers conducted cleaning activities in Indore. In Puducherry, a cleanliness drive to clean the beach was organised by NSS volunteers and Karaikal Municipality.
Citizens were seen cleaning the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi. Heroes from the Navy cleaned up the South Mumbai mangroves and sea front.