Karnataka

On a mission to ensure a clean city

The former MLA Abhay Patil leading a citizen's initiative towards a cleaner Belagavi.— FILE PHOTO

The former MLA Abhay Patil leading a citizen's initiative towards a cleaner Belagavi.— FILE PHOTO  

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Much before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan last year, it was two-time MLA Abhay Patil who had launched Swachchata Belgaum (now Belagavi) Abhiyan in Hulikavi village in the form of Shramdaan in 2005. Subsequently, it was taken up in Jafarwadi village in 2007. Thereafter, realising the need and encouraged by the response from the public, he transformed it into a mission to clean up residential localities, public places, crematoriums and graveyards twice every month. And the mission still continues.

“My team and I were in Sangli, canvassing for BJP candidates in Maharashtra Assembly elections, when Mr. Modi launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on October 2, 2014. I began canvassing in a unique way and probably for the first time in India, we first carried out cleaning of certain localities and switched over to canvassing to signify importance of cleanliness and hygiene,” Mr. Patil recalled.

Thereafter, he rechristened his mission into “Swachh Belgaum, Sundar Belgaum” and involved schools and colleges to take forward the objectives of the mission.

His awareness programmes were minus “speeches” and were only in action. Completions like ‘Campus to City’, during which private and government schools cleaned classrooms, school campuses and their surroundings, were held.

For college students, he organised ‘One fine day’ — which was an interaction on how to keep college and premises of residences clean. He involved them in cleaning activities in and around their colleges. Now, he has planned to organise ‘Kitchen to Street’ — a competition for homemakers.

A street play titled ‘Chalo Swachhata Layen’ is being conducted in various parts of city.

Mr. Patil said the city produces over 200 tonnes of waste which needs to be properly segregated in separate bags and disposed. His team has already started working on bringing attitudinal change in the public against littering.

Meanwhile, he has planned a mega competition titled ‘Chalo Delhi, Milo Modi’ involving nearly 96,000 students from different schools, which will be held later during this month. Fifty winners and one parent of each student and 40 teachers will be selected for a chance to meet the Prime Minister. Efforts are underway to get an appointment with the Prime Minister, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 4:18:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/on-a-mission-to-ensure-a-clean-city/article7627434.ece

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