Swachhta hi Seva is a way of life. Indeed, cleanliness is next to godliness. This is an old adage but still holds true, particularly for our country where garbage is jettisoned freely. It is a common sight in the morning to see people defecating openly along railway lines across the country. That open defecation is still being practiced to this day and age is a sorry state of affairs. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report states that India has the largest number of people practicing open defecation—around 525 million or more than a third of the population. The practice is prevalent mostly in rural areas (56%). The figures are lower in urban areas at 7%. For a country wanting a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, this is unacceptable. Therefore, the government has started the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign.
Keeping this in view, the Government of India, launched its cleanliness drive: the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or the Clean India Mission on October 2nd, 2014, the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi—the Father of the Nation. It couldn’t have been a more opportune date. In a time when the country is moving towards Digital India, these ground realities need to be taken care of. No wonder, the Swachhta Abhiyan pledge appeals to the citizens of India to devote 100 hours a year for voluntary cleanliness work.
Several private as well as public companies have come forward to support the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Aligning itself with the government’s vision, Deskera too has taken the lead to implement the novel initiative. More than 130 Deskera employees, nation-wide, were administered the Swachhta Hi Seva pledge to keep their surroundings clean. After all, charity begins at home. Any individual, government institution or a private body can participate in the mission, which encourages people to devote a few hours out of their daily routine towards making the country clean.
“This is a novel initiative by the Government. We are with them in promoting a clean and vibrant culture in the country. It is the responsibility of citizens as well as companies to make this a success. We are doing our bit to promote the initiative and therefore our employees have come forward to take the Swachhta Hi Seva pledge,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera.
The Government has also pumped in funds to make the initiative a success, earmarking about Rs 2 lakh crore over the next five years. The idea is to make India clean by 2019. The mission is aimed at elimination of open defecation, construction of community as well as public toilets, municipal solid waste management, and cleaning of roads and public areas. But most important of all, it seeks to change the mindset of people and inculcate civic sense. To be successful, there has to be a nationwide campaign with intense people involvement. Therefore, companies and organizations, individuals, NGOs and civil society groups, must come together to make it a success. After all, Swachhta Hi Seva is a way of life.