Cleanliness has always been an area of great concern. Usually, we have this tendency of keeping our place, our dwelling neat & clean and prefer to conveniently ignore the surroundings, even the immediate ones, out of our premises turning them into the dump yards of litter. At the same time, we never stop expecting the civic authorities to clean our filth with promptness and never let any opportunity go without chiding them for their ‘slackness’. This mindset often makes the scenario full of huge mounds of filth at different place in localities a common sight in the country.

Riding high on absolute majority, BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when formed the government, took up the issue of cleanliness with an unprecedented enthusiasm and launched a nation-wide Clean India (Swatchh Bharat) Campaign.

Picking up a broom to clean the dirt himself, Modi launched the campaign from Rajghat in New Delhi on October 2, 2014 espousing the Clean India Vision of Mahatma Gandhi with the rhetoric :“Na Gandagi Karenge , Na Karne Denge” (We will not litter nor will we allow others to litter).

“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” said Narendra Modi. He, in fact, initially invited nine eminent persons to be a part of the campaign and exhorted them to make other nine to join it thus shaping up the drive with a missionary zeal. In this quest, circulars were passed to open the government offices and the schools and make everyone sweep offices and school buildings clean.

Bollywood celebrities, including mega star Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Kailash Kher, Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, and some television stars came forward and joined the initiative actively. Even the prominent sport stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom’s were not behind and picked up broom to express solidarity with the Mission which had taken the country by storm.

A very good initiative indeed ! But the sense to cleanliness can hardly be inculcated among the countrymen by just a few politicians or celebrities picking up broom. It rather ends up being a mere photo opportunity for them than anything else. Perhaps the sense for cleanliness has to come from within us as a discipline of life for the success of such drives.

Here is an endeavour to narrate the ‘Clean India’ story through the lense. These pictures have been taken at different locations in Lucknow and elsewhere. While being an effort to show the ground situation, it is also an attempt to educate masses.

Navneet Shukla , an avid student Photographer takes a look.

Sanjay M Johri

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