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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Narendra Modi, India’s new leader, wants to take out the trash

Another feather in Modi's cap.

Modi is doing well in articulating a range of developments. As cleaning up the Cities goes forward, most of us Indians living in the west, would be the happiest people on the earth to visit the motherland.  We have gotten used to a cleaner hygienic way of life here, and this is a welcome call by Modi.

Don't you think other guys could not have done this? Don't you think any Chief Minister in India can do this? They can, they don't have the vision or the leadership that Modi is showing. Modi is getting to be an all rounder.

Look at Dallas - Plano is attracting businesses, don't you think other cities could not do it? The difference is leadership and nothing but leadership.

It is good to see Rama Lakshmi at Washington post wrote this on June 11th, ""  Modi is the first prime minister to speak about Indians' chronic habits of littering and spitting. And he hasn't done it just once, but again and again and again."

 I wrote it June 10th, a day earlier, actually I wrote on 7th, but it took three days for them to publish, I wrote, " Indeed, Modi is the first Indian leader to have articulated a plan on hygiene and sanitation. Nearly half a billion people in India relieve themselves in open fields, and recent rapes have been partially attributed to a lack of toilets, private and public.

I am going to start predicting what Modi will do, as it is working out.

Mike Ghouse

www.MikeGhouse.net

Narendra Modi, India’s new leader, wants to take out the trash
Courtesy - Washington Post

June 11 at 3:55 PM
A rag picker sorts through garbage, picking out recyclable materials to sell, at the Ghazipur landfill site in the east of New Delhi, India, on Friday, May 30, 2014. Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg

India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to wipe out chronic corruption and give India a squeaky-clean government during the two months of election campaign this year. But what surprised many Indians is that Modi wants to clean up India in more ways than one.

He wants to literally make Indian cities trash-free.

"Let us create a clean India and place it at the feet of Mahatma Gandhi as a gift for him in 2019," Modi said in parliament on Wednesday, referring to the proposed celebrations for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the independence movement and the father of the nation.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives for the first session of India's newly elected parliament in New Delhi on June 4, 2014. The first session of India's newly elected parliament lasted only minutes as lawmakers immediately adjourned in a mark of respect for a government minister who died in a car crash with the process of swearing-in the 543 members of the Lok Sabha pushed back to June 5. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRANRAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Imagesa Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives for the first session of India's newly elected parliament in New Delhi on June 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN

Modi is the first prime minister to speak about Indians' chronic habits of littering and spitting. And he hasn't done it just once, but again and again and again.

In his very first speech after the spectacular election victory last month, Modi said his vision for a clean India must begin in the ancient Hindu holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges River.
"Cleaning our surroundings is also a way of serving Mother India," Modi said.
One of the proposed plans of Modi government is to make throwing trash and spitting into the Ganges river a punishable offense, media reports said this week.

That is easier said than done in a country where garbage is both a behavioral and municipal problem. Indians live uncomplainingly alongside heaps of uncollected smelly, fly-infested garbage strewn on the streets, neighborhoods, playgrounds, hospitals, railway stations, temples and river banks. Many Indians routinely toss out plastic wrappers, empty cigarette packs or cans from their car windows without a care for how their cities look. Storm water drains in the cities are choked with trash.

But Modi will have none of it.

And his message appears to be trickling down to his colleagues too. The ministers in his government are ordering the clean-up of the filthy corridors of government departments.

"The broom is out: Government offices on clean-up drive" was the title of an article in the Business Standard this week.

"The problem of garbage in India is so big that it requires nothing less than the political will at the top level, otherwise it is impossible to create civic awareness because Indians are just too numbed by it," said Robinder Sachdev, who leads a people's campaign called Come, Clean India. "It is music to my ears every time I hear our new Prime Minister speak about cleaning India. If a popular leader like him makes it his priority, it is very likely that hundreds of millions of his followers will take it up across India."
In 2009, former environment minister Jairam Ramesh said Indian cities are the dirtiest in the world: "If there is a Nobel prize for dirt and filth, India will win it, no doubt," he said.

Indians reacted to his statement with shock. But then, they went back to littering-as-usual.
Rama Lakshmi has been with The Washington Post’s India bureau since April 1990. A museum studies graduate, she has worked with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Missouri History Museum.

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