Cleanliness, sanitation integral part of daily life: Shyamkumar
IMPHAL 1st Oct: The state is all geared up to pay homage to the ‘Father of the Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi by observing National Cleanliness Day in commemoration of his 150th birth anniversary on Wednesday. Cleanliness drives will be held across the state along with activities like prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies in schools and colleges, government and socio-political institutions.
The day is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence since October 2, 2007 in other countries after the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on June 15, 2007. The resolution reflected universal respect for Gandhi and his philosophy. The day aims to spread the message of non-violence through education and public awareness around the world. To celebrate the anniversary of the flagship programme ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, ‘Swachhata Hi Seva 2019 was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mathura, Uttar Pradesh on September 11 last. It is a massive nationwide awareness and mobilisation campaign on cleanliness.
The first phase of the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ 2019 mass awareness campaign on the theme ‘Plastic Waste Awareness and Management’ concluded on Tuesday. The campaign was also held in the state, jointly organised by Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD) along with Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) at the iconic Khwairamband Ima Keithel.
Speaking at the event as chief guest, MAHUD minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar said that the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign aims at fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean India by mobilising the masses and reinforcing people’s movement for sanitation. He said, ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ motto had been the mantra of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and he demonstrated and propagated individual and community cleanliness.
He said that Mahatma Gandhi incorporated a non-violent resistance, taking the forefront of India's freedom struggle movement against the colonial British rule. He also said that realizing his dream of a clean India is a collective responsibility.
Terming cleanliness as an important aspect for the physical well-being and a healthy environment, the minister stressed on maintaining the environment and sustainable conservation of natural resources of the State. He called upon the people to be civilized, cultured and clean so that the state could be a leader in culture and cleanliness ranking.
The minister opined that cleanliness makes us healthy in every aspect like mental, physical, social and intellectual, saying that the people should make cleanliness and sanitation as an integral part of our living, as propagated by Gandhi.
He also appealed to the women vendors of the historic Ima Keithel to maintain cleanliness in the area to keep the Asia’s largest all-women market neat and clean. He further called upon the stakeholders concerned to come forward in banning the single-use plastics and minimise the usage of plastics by replacing it by biodegradable products like cloth bags, paper bags among others.
MAHUD director Th Harikumar Singh said that the plastics collected during the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign will be used in road toppings and in making cement and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will use plastic and polythene waste for road topping. Likewise, cement factories will procure the plastic waste for making cement, he added. He also stressed on the re-introduction of paper bags in shops and usage of bags made of biodegradable materials like cloth, jute among others.
Nationwide Shramdaan for plastic waste collection and segregation will be held on Wednesday while recycling and effective disposal of the collected plastic waste will be held from October 3 to 27.
The function was also attended by MAHUD commissioner M Joy Singh; IMC commissioner K Chandrakumar Singh; administrator Ksh Lemba Singh; IMC workers, CM’s Green Manipur Mission Ambassador Elangbam Valentina Devi; women vendors of Ima Keithel, KEDO volunteers among others.