Trying to Make Delhi Swachh, but Govt Needs to Contribute Equally

Trying to Make Delhi Swachh, but Govt Needs to Contribute Equally

My Report

Dilliwaalon ki Dilli, as our national capital is fondly called, has lots to provide in terms of history, culture, art and food. Unfortunately, it is also infamous for mountains of garbage – the Ghazipur landfill being a case in point.

I've often wondered who the responsibility lies with. Is it solely the fault of those who litter? Should we scrutinise those who are indifferent to piling garbage in their city? Or should those who are entrusted with the job of disposing waste be held accountable? To me, the problem begins at home. I don’t blame the government for any lack of support. I believe it is our own duty to keep our vicinity clean.

Garbage piled up in Sector 18, Rohini.
Garbage piled up in Sector 18, Rohini.
(Photo Courtesy: Shankar Singh Rajput)

With this idea in mind, I decided to take matters in my own hands. My friends and I decided to clean up an area in Rohini's Sector 18. That was on 19 May 2019. Before that, we had all complained to the MCD and the government to get the area cleaned but no one listened. Then we realised, why are we blaming the government? It is our responsibility to keep our locality clean.

I commonly hear people say that the area we’re cleaning will get dirty again. What they don’t understand is that one needs to take the first step towards cleanliness before complaining.

We also use social media as an effective tool to create awareness on keeping residential areas clean. Lot of people have become aware of this, taking a cue from our work. They see us making efforts and think they should also follow suit.

We posted about a cleaning drive on Instagram and Twitter and a lot of people took notice. They messaged, and asked to join us.
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What Else is Needed for India to be Swachh?

While I have never blamed the government for their lack of support, some help and initiative from their side would go a long away in keeping areas clean and ensuring there is no littering.

We have a shortage of gloves and tools, rather a shortage of all equipment used to clear garbage. We have to carry the collected garbage on our backs or in our hands. This is a major bottleneck.

If the government could just aid us in transporting the garbage, it would be of great help.

Cleaning in progress.
Cleaning in progress.
(Photo Courtesy: Shankar Singh Rajput)
A second need for 'Swachh India', I feel, is awareness at an individual level. People volunteer to be part of our cleaning drive from areas like Narela, Sonepat etc. If they can clean up someone else’s area, surely, they can aim to keep their own areas clean. I started Vrikshit Foundation, an NGO working for a cleaner and greener environment, inspired by this.

Finally, the government needs to focus actively on the environment. Without taking care of the environment, development would mean nothing. Tomorrow our kids will question us and ask what we were doing when the country’s state was deteriorating. So we will have to initiate and take responsibility for our actions.

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Producer: Aastha Gulati
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Edited By: Riniki Sanyal

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