Swachh Bharat … During Diwali

Yesterday there was a Diwali mela setup within our condominium complex with stalls selling clothes, bags, diyas etc and food stalls on another side. Two of the lawns were blocked off for this purpose. Krishnan, mom and I went for an evening walk around 8.30 last evening and heard fire crackers being burst… That was the surprise the notice had promised. I don’t like crackers because the image of a child labourer of Sivakasi is what comes in front of me … Small hands forced to make something that he will never enjoy and we who buy the crackers have robbed his childhood for our “fun”.
So that spoilt my mood and then we couldn’t walk near those two blocks where the mela was held because of the smoke.

Anyway, mom and I went for our morning walk just now and I was hoping that the Swachh Bharat abhiyaan’s pledge that has been posted on all the notice boards would be followed and the lawns would be clean …well, I was disappointed. The lawns were strewn with plastic/paper plates, cups, spoons etc. The lawn where the non-food stalls were put up was no better, newspaper wrappers, rubber bands and clips were strewn all over. The crowds that thronged this mela were the elite, well educated residents and their children studying in good schools – whatever happened to the Swachh Bharat dreams ? This is the same group that travels abroad and comments about how clean their roads and parks are. We can’t keep a small Diwali mela area clean at home !!!

Our PM’s biggest challenge is motivating this group of well heeled, well travelled, new age feudal lords who “want” the country to be clean, but won’t “do” the cleaning. Hey, pick that broom and especially get your kid to carry that empty cup and drop it in the trash can – you want a clean country, start by cleaning your backyard, even if it’s shared by many of your neighbours.

Btw can we celebrate this Diwali by giving away double of whatever we buy for ourselves to somebody who needs it ? If you buy that designer dress, can you give away two of your old “Indian” outfits to the maid or to “Goonj”. There are people out there in J&K, the North East and now in Andhra who have lost everything in the floods and the cyclone. So every sweet that you pop into your mouth, can you give away two from your box to that “cleaner” in your colony ? You will gain health and your cleaner can also celebrate.

Make this Diwali a clean Diwali, don’t just clean your houses, clean your minds and hearts and help clean the streets, parks, lawns and backyards around you. Take the Swachh Bharat pledge with a Swachh Mann.


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