NEW DELHI: In one sweep, the Central government in Lutyens’ Delhi will become part of a “Swachh Bharat” on October 2, when the nation celebrates Gandhi Jayanti. In connection with the massive cleaning drive, from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to Railway Bhavan, and Parliament building in between, everything will be shut mid-day October 1. By the time the Central government establishments reopen on October 3, it will be a newer, cleaner Bharat, a mission about which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken on the international stage, at Madison Square Garden, New York, to a 20,000-strong crowd. Such is the scale of this Gandhiji-inspired mission of cleanliness that the PM shared his vision and sought help of NRI supporters to join in this transformational exercise of making India clean.
But Modi Government is certainly not leaving everything to appeal as that is not what might work in India. Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth thus has issued a circular to all ministries stating the steps to be taken. “It is important to involve government and public sector officials at every level, NGOs, education and health institutions, rural and urban and local bodies, self-help groups, youth organisations, resident and market associations as well as business and industrial chambers and associations in the cleanliness drive,” Seth’s note said.
Well, to convert Modi’s “Swachh Bharat” into a mass movement -- on the lines of the freedom movement of Gandhiji’s time -- and realise his dream of a Clean India by 2019, the government plans to rope in business houses and industrial chambers, resident welfare associations and NGOs. By 2019, when the country celebrates Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary, and also go to the next general elections, the environment would be different -- “if not disinfected, then clean of dirt and squalor”. That’s the plan, explained a senior minister. He and his colleagues have been asked to conduct surprise raids at government offices to ensure that employees don’t lapse into bad habits. No cluttering of government buildings, no spitting, no cobwebs, no cluttering of unused furniture or cupboards and steel almirahs in the corridors. “Effective use of mass media such as radio, television and newspapers; digital media such as internet and mobiles; and direct media may be made in this regard,” Seth’s note said. Union Ministries have been asked to reach out to the states and Union Territories to ensure that they do the same. Meanwhile, from Wednesday afternoon, most of the government departments here will shut down for the “spring cleaning”. The first of its kind operation, the PM himself will join in. He will be in sweeping operation at the Valmiki Basti here, where Gandhiji used to stay.