Ancient Bharat and cleanliness
Indian society has incorporated philosophy of cleanliness from dawn of the civilization. In ancient times Indians were the custodians of a highly evolved civilization with great awareness on sanitation as well as the vulnerability of man’s natural environment. Their approach towards life was very comprehensive, highly integrated with the environment and, therefore, was ecologically sound and sustainable. It was aimed at promoting a peaceful coexistence with all the living organisms as well as a complete harmony with the physical environment.
In Geeta, the Holy book of Hindus, Lord Krishna goes on to equate lack of cleanliness to an asura and cleanliness as a divine attribute. The quote: Pravrittim cha nivrittim cha janaa na viduraasuraahaa | na shaucham naapi chaachaaro na satyam teshu vidyate || 7 || Whether to engage or to disengage from action, those people with devilish tendencies do not know. Neither purity nor proper conduct nor truth exists in them.
In modern India, father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi was also very pragmatic on the cleanliness habits. According to him ‘’ Everyone must be his own scavenger’’
Gandhiji dwelt on cleanliness and good habits and pointed out its close relationship to good health. Pointing out our unhygienic habits Gandhiji strongly emphasized observing cleanliness in lavatories, and wrote in Navajivan on 24-5-1925:
“I shall have to defend myself on one point, namely, sanitary conveniences. I learnt 35 years ago that a lavatory must be as clean as a drawing-room. I learnt this in the West. I believe that many rules about cleanliness in lavatories are observed more scrupulously in the West than in the East. There are some defects in their rules in this matter, which can be easily remedied. The cause of many of our diseases is the condition of our lavatories and our bad habit of disposing of excreta anywhere and everywhere. I, therefore, believe in the absolute necessity of a clean place for answering the call of nature and clean articles for use at the time, have accustomed myself to them and wish that all others should do the same. The habit has become so firm in me that even if I wished to change it I would not be able to do so. Nor do I wish to change it”
In Rural Litigation & Entitlement Kendra vs. State of UP, while stopping mining in the forest area in Doon Valley, the Supreme Court quoted from the Atharva Veda (5.30.6) to the following effect:
“Man’s paradise is on earth; this living world is the beloved place of all;
It has the blessings of Nature’s bounties; live in a lovely spirit.”
We cannot go anywhere than earth which is our only habitat.
The above sense of cleanliness becomes now more relevant for us where we are entering in to new era of Digital India.
Digital India and social inclusion
In today’s society, the ability to access, adapt, and create knowledge using information and communication technologies is critical to social inclusion. The communication tools seem to be a great medium of social development. Challenges need to be addressed through the effective integration of technology into communities, institutions, and societies. So Indian government launched its e-governance plan in 2006. Now the Digital India programme in 2014 is one step ahead, where infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand, digital empowerment of citizen is core vision.
The digital India aims the following
1. Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen
2. Governance & Services On Demand
3. Digital Empowerment of Citizens
Out of the nine pillar two e-Governance, e-Kranti are more important former talks about government through technology and latter about delivery of services.
E‐Governance helps simplify processes and makes access to government Information easier. The other anticipated benefits of e ‐ governance include efficiency in services, improvement in services delivery, standardization of services, better accessibility of services, and more transparency and accountability. Electronic Delivery of services includes technological intervention for education, health care, planning, security, financial inclusion, justice and for cyber security.
The Digital India is a programme from our prime minister to provide better opportunity to accessibility to governance but a hidden problem may also be visualized once we look at other side where the immense use of electronics by the government and society will lead heavy generation of Electronic waste (E-Waste). Indian government recognized this problem earlier and made E-waste (Management & handling), Rules, 2011 but due to unawareness of the government and private bodies, e-waste problem is now becoming a giant challenge for us.
Digital India spurs to E-Waste : India generates e-waste up to 1500 metric kilo tonnes every year. UN predicted that by 2020 e-waste from computers would jump by 500 percent and from discarded mobile phones would be 18 times higher than 2007 level in India. Electronic waste itself does not causes direct damage to us but unscientific processing of these scraps cause a detrimental health consequences and WHO has also warned about these consequences due to e-waste in its ”E-Waste and Child Health Initiative report”. Now time has come when these huge e-wastes must be managed through environmentally sound process to cause least harm to human and environment and checking its diversion to landfilling or incineration. National Green Tribunal has also expressed similar concern about e-waste causing broad spectrum of ecological damage. Generation of E-waste due to digitalization is inevitable but proper management of these electronic wastes will reduce the potential harm to human and environment. So if the initiative is taken today it will not be a problem for us or next generation.
Awareness at School CURE understands the participatory nature of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan so it has started an awareness movement to include the e-waste within Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. When we say, we are creating awareness it is simply to bring a sense of ownership within you about your environment. This ownership is based upon the feeling of being responsible citizen. CURE is running its awareness campaign in schools to create the feeling of responsible citizen at an early stage of life which will later developed as eternal values among the children.
So support this Mission e-Swachh Bharat to help environment and of course, we all.