”If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
When the Swacch Bharat Mission was introduced in 2014 in India, the data suggested that about 40% of rural India was under sanitation coverage. Since then, we have had a lot of mass awareness campaigns, schools level awareness schemes, an award ceremony to the cleanest village, and celebrities who were introduced as brand Ambassadors of the mission. The big question is, after 2014 what is our real data to measure progress?
While we talk about the system, we always ask questions or sometimes after fighting somewhere, we lose our capacity to build bridges. Can we, as a nation, as good citizens, take the mission forward? Why are we waiting for someone to make that happen? Why I, you and she are not working as ‘change leaders’ on behalf of the mission? Will this act make you a government servant or a particular political party supporter? More than anything, we have to look for the results. And the results are in our hands.
No one can change until we don’t change. For example, If I went to the neighbouring village and led the people for some time and taught the neighbour’s children to be clean and made them aware about the future life we can create; I think that would be enough.
In my opinion, no one wants to see an activist in the family but everyone wishes for someone to fight with the system. Why not me? Let’s ask ourselves. Yes, you will answer – we choose political leaders, we choose governments to solve our problems. If they are not able to recognise our problems, not able to create sustainable solutions, why can’t we contribute some time to the nation to make it sustainable?
1. We can definitely teach one household to be open defecation free and explain to them the benefits of this.
2. We can definitely give one hour in a month to a primary school, where we can teach the children to be hygienic.
3. We can create a local group of trusted people, who can raise funds to build a toilet in the area.
4. We, young people, can definitely ask questions to the local government authority about ongoing and upcoming projects and follow-up via phone calls.
5. We can share easy toilet-making processes on our social media; it would make a difference.
When Gandhi started his Dandi Jatra, there were only a small group of people, but ultimately, the results were enormous.