Cleanliness is next to godliness. This is a common phrase. It’s also, popular wisdom. It could be likened to a habit to behold. It is an activity that deserves continuity. But for the longest possible time, cleanliness hasn’t really been a sign of godliness, let alone becoming an engaging usual habit of the sort in the world’s largest democracy. How to clean India was the concern everyone had and now, it seems, the tide is changing.
Where present India stands, things are changing drastically, as opposed to the country depicting a penchant for moving at the snail’s pace. Forget the hype surrounding the traditional big cities- Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad or Chennai. Forget the besotted citizens marvelling at mega-infrastructure. Let alone the heightened developments in the ebb of urban transportation, for instance- the metro rail- a lifeline of many a city in India today.
What keeps a country truly sane and on its feet is the eternal symbol that connects cities to its people, visitors to a city and, in turn, speaks well of the city in the space it occupies in the world: cleanliness. Few other things can possibly garner more importance other than just how clean a city really is.
Whether it’s the beachy destinations sprawling all over the world, the megacities of the west, the countryside areas in posh English settings or even the present-day remnants of the colonial era- the one factor that truly unites the globe in appreciation for much of the world is just how clean some cities and areas are. And at the same time, draw derision at how vastly under-nourished do some of India’s cities seem, especially when compared to the remainder of the West.
Isn’t it? But, if you have been privy to the news circulating around the country on the present standards of city up-keep, general hygiene and cleanliness, you’d find that things are changing drastically.
And in this regard, it seems, some of India’s cities have come a truly long way. Led by the sensational Indore- ever an underdog city- in Madhya Pradesh and its neighbouring Bhopal- there seems to be a new wave of cleanliness that’s managed to cleanse some of India’s eyesore.
Few other countries unite audiences in appreciation as much as they divide them on the front of criticism other than India. While on the one hand, everyone’s in love with this marvellous land of culture, heritage, history, colours and such a gigantic wave spun around tech, industry and, entrepreneurship- on the other- India has been criticised for a complete lack of etiquette when it comes to maintaining cleanliness in any of its megacities. It’s like there exists a megastructure of sorts, that’s ever capable but has been shunned away in some corner without anyone allowing sunlight to fall on it.
Perhaps, it could be argued that Delhi gets away at times, quite simply, owing to the sheer wideness of roads and general greenery, that conveniently blanket the lack of cleanliness all-over, it’s not essentially the truth when you visit Kolkata, Mumbai or Bangalore today.
So, it could be said, what we are seeing today is a mini-revolution spurred by smaller cities in size, such as Indore, Bhopal and others- that have successfully assuaged the lack of hygiene and cleanliness one commonly finds in mainstream cities. In a more everyday sense, it’s a little brother of a family trying to make do for the lack of good behaviour or deeds shown by the elder brother who was expected to act more responsible but failed to do so.
At this time, Indore and Bhopal have topped the rankings where the 2018 Swacch Survekshan stands, and have made the country proud.
The 2018 Swacch Survekshan is actually a nationwide cleanliness survey that is conducted by Union Housing and the Urban Affairs Ministry. And there’s no better city than Indore that seems to have truly understood the worth and importance of maintaining cleanliness all around. Wondering why? For the second consecutive time has the city, popularly known as “mini-Bombay” received the tag of the cleanest city in the country.
There are also other notable names on this pivotal list. Chandigarh and New Delhi have emerged as the third and fourth cleanest on the list.
But the biggest victory of them all, perhaps, goes to Jharkhand. Back in 2015, it was ranked the lowest when it came to identifying cleanest states. As on date, Jharkhand is right on top- what a massive turnaround.