Come, Clean India Bill
There are several areas where the parliament, state legislatures, and local elected bodies, right down to the Panchayats in villages of India, can intervene effectively to improve cleanliness, sanitation, and public health. Towards this objective, Imagindia has been conducting outreach among the political parties and parliamentarians for a comprehensive "Come, Clean India Bill". The Ministry of Tourism's adoption of a "Clean India" campaign last year is a laudable step in this direction.
Political parties must define their commitment and strategy for a clean India in their election manifestoes. The ability of any party to deliver on its promise can be then scrutinized by citizens based on a simple metric – how cleaner is the village, town, or city since the party assumed power. A growing number of citizens will include this promise, or its delivery, in their decision to vote in, or vote out, such parties. Imagindia is regularly bringing up this matter to the attention of the leading political parties in India.
A most unfortunate feature of urban and public spaces in India is the complete absence of waste-bins. Even as civic habits change, and increasingly the children and youth of India adopt a culture that appreciates "To litter is not Cool", where do we dispose the litter? The usual answers of municipal agencies, that waste-bins can be stolen and that is why they do not install bins is simply non-acceptable. There are policy, technical, public-private, and other simple and smart solutions which can be implemented – it only needs administrative will. Come, Clean India invites you to change the landscape of public spaces – click here to know more …Come, Bingo.
Apart from the first-mile problem (of collecting waste and litter), all villages, towns, and cities of India today face the last-mile problem – where to dump the daily collection of municipal waste, and how it should be processed, disposed. The hills and mountains of filth outside the towns and cities of India, where waste is dumped in ad-hoc manner must be eviscerated, and planned zoning and waste management systems put into place by each concerned local authority.
Citizens Charter on Cleanliness
Notwithstanding insufficient budgets, shortage of manpower, and such, the municipal and other related local agencies can do a much better job than they are doing at present. Smarter delivery of services, transparency and accountability of agencies and sub-contractors responsible for collecting waste, till the point of the disposal, and usage of social media to inform and collect complaints from the citizenry – the relevant local agencies must guarantee a "Citizens Charter on Cleanliness" in each village, town and city of India. This charter must be displayed prominently on the web-sites of the concerned agencies.
Come, Clean India urges schools and colleges to adopt a new curriculum – Cleaning Sciences. This new interdisciplinary curriculum will span across hard and soft sciences that can be integrated to provide solutions to cleanliness and management of waste. Plus a growing number of jobs are being created in fields related to waste and water management, environmental sciences, urban development, and such. Thus, instead of ambiguous goodwill towards environment and civic sense – educationists must converge functional knowledge that will also create jobs for your students.