Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam dropped by at the India Gate and was slightly disappointed to find the landmark a bit too clean. No, your eyes haven’t gone bad yet. The reason behind this disappointment was the fact that he was supposed to flag the 15 day ‘Swachhta hi Sewa’ campaign.
To get the minister out of this tricky situation, the volunteers, mostly college students, started ‘arranging’ garbage for the Minister to clean. (Again, your eyes are absolutely fine!)
After the garbage was ‘arranged’, Alphons quickly got to work and started picking up the garbage with his hands. So much for cleanliness!
Amidst this drama, a relevant question came up, why choose India Gate (a place that is already been maintained by the government) instead of say an area like Chandni Chowk to start the cleanliness drive.
After cleaning the mess up, the minister carried on with the event and also chatted with the street food vendors, advising them to maintain cleanliness in the premises. “How much do you earn per day? Do you tell customers to throw the waste plates and tissues in the dustbin kept with you? Help us in making India clean,” he was quoted saying.
The India Gate is one of the 15 tourists sites selected and the Minister said that though a place like it is cleaned every day, there is still room for improvement in cleanliness.
According to NDTV reports, the Minister said, “We are out here cleaning India Gate. Cleaning programs are going on across the country. The message is we have to keep India clean. Everybody and not just government officials will have to participate in this. And it has to be an everyday operation, not just once in a year and not just for the camera."
Image source: amazingindiablog
Ah, the irony!
The other tourist destinations where cleanliness and awareness activities will be conducted by the ministry include Rishikesh Ghats in Uttarakhand, Juhu Beach in Mumbai, Dakshineshwar Temple and Belur Math in Kolkata, Kovalam Beach in Kerala and Kamakhaya temple in Guwahati.
We need to realize that cleanliness is a mindset, and such cleanliness drives aren’t the way this country will clean up.
Cover image source: hindustantimes