Bitter Truth:

  • Indians are clean but India is dirty
  • Tracing  back and comparing all existing civilizations, Indian will stand far ahead on cleanliness
  • Civilizational history suggests that people of Indus were the first to invent and use the best sanitary methods
  • Though we still continue to be clean when it comes to our own household, but, the moment we step out of our houses, cleanliness doesn’t resonate in our behavior and attitude

So the problem is:

  • Indians never personalized public hygiene
  • Unlike other nationals, public cleanliness for us does not count in our basic attitude and behaviour
  • Cleanliness here is not a subject to teach or a project to be accomplished
  • It is yet to become a “culture” transpired through us to our future generations

Sanitation is an issue of not only national importance, but is reflected as pivotal in Sustainable Development Goals- SDG too (SDG 6- Water & Sanitation). As public places belong to all residents of the country, without any kind of discrimination or prejudice, making India clean should be the responsibility of not just governments, organisations and individuals but everyone living in India. Therefore, efforts to create a Culture of Cleanliness in the country should cover all the residents of the country and make them equal participants and stakeholders in addressing the menace of filthiness. This project also focuses on Anti-Littering behaviour and responsible consumption (SDG 12- Responsible consumption and Production).

A people’s movement aimed at sensitizing individuals in terms of practicing cleanliness. We believe that this movement is extremely important to bring a long lasting transformation in their attitudes and behaviour towards creating a culture of cleanliness. The world has witnessed many people’s movements in the past; however, Satyagraha movement remains the most ground breaking and impactful people’s movement. Mahatma Gandhi who is known world-wide as a remarkable leader and torch bearer of peace, harmony and human values, initiated and led the Satyagraha movement to fight against colonial occupation. It was joined by people from all walks of Indian society, including elders, youth, women and children.

Therefore, we realize that in order to fight against the evil of filthiness and irresponsible behaviour in public spaces, we should initiate a people’s movement inspired from our rich and motivating democratic and social history.  Hence, we would like to name this people’s movement as “Swachhagraha” meaning ‘Swachhta ka Agrah’ and i.e. insistence and practice of cleanliness has been widened its relevance by saying ‘Swachhagraha- Swachhta ka Satyagraha’.

Swachhagraha, similar to Satyagrah aims at engaging people and bringing about a change, similar in scale to India's freedom movement, where people get involved to take action for ‘Creating a culture of Cleanliness’.  Aligning with the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) announced by our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Swachhagraha’s mission is to kill the litterbug amongst all of us and transform the face of the nation beyond 2019 and forever.

Since people do not display values of ownership and accountability in their surroundings, we will endeavour to first inculcate these values through awareness and sensitisation programs.Once people are sensitised, it becomes necessary to guide them about how to manage different kinds of wastes and treat them appropriately. Hence we will conduct knowledge sessions to impart knowledge to people on appropriate waste management approaches.

In order to measure the success and impact of our efforts in terms of Creating a Culture of Cleanliness, we will devise an ‘impact measurement mechanism’ to monitor changes in people’s behaviour, pre and post engagement with the Swachhagraha movement.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead