The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi wrote to over 4.5 lakh sarpanchs and swachhagrahis, appealing to them to not only work towards sustaining ODF (open defecation free) status of their villages, but also to limit the use of single use plastic and ensure safe disposal of plastic waste.
“I want to make an appeal to you to generate awareness and inform every person in your village on the risks and hazards of SUP (single use plastics) during the SHS period. You can also motivate them for taking a pledge on 2nd October to make your village Plastic Waste Free, to collect all the plastic waste from their surroundings at an identified place in the village, and to ensure its safe disposal with the support of the local administration,” the PM wrote to each of them.
“Let us once again commit ourselves to removing plastic waste from our surroundings and building a Plastic Pollution Free India, just like we built an ODF India,” he added, towards achieving the vision of a clean, healthy and beautiful India.
The letter has been read out to village communities by their leaders, at the commencement of the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign that is being implemented nationwide from 11th September, culminating on 2nd October, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Swachhata Hi Seva 2019, a nationwide campaign to ensure proper management and treatment of plastic waste across the country was launched today in Mathura. “Let’s all come together and take the initiative forward to curb the use of single-use plastic,” the PM said.
Key features of SHS 2019 campaign are:
- Preparation for collection and disposal of all plastic waste
- 10,000-15,000 tonnes of estimated plastic waste to be collected
- Campaign for replacing plastic bags with jute/cloth bags; mobilization of mass production
- Massive plastic waste collection drives by all, across rural and urban households
The campaign is likely to result in a people’s movement for plastic waste management
In Uttarakhand, all school students listened to the PM’s speech on the hazards of single use plastic. Thereafter, they pledged to ensure their homes, surroundings are clean and plastic waste is properly disposed off.
In Manipur, almost every district launched the SHS programme during which the PM’s letter was read out, followed by adopting of slogans on curbing the use of single use plastic after which they undertook a cleanliness drive. All deputy commissioners and sarpanchs were involved in the event.
Patna district of Bihar saw the official state launch of SHS which involved a discussion on the PM’s letter at the Aam Sabha. SHS fliers on plastic waste were circulated in all districts.
As for Sikkim, an awareness program on sanitation, focusing on menstrual hygiene was held at Buriakhop School in Soreng. In other villages, waste audit was carried out. ‘Say NO to single use plastic’ was the message conveyed throughout the state, as communities adopted zero waste policy.
In Kasganj of Uttar Pradesh, large scale shramdan was done when people took to their brooms to clean up their surroundings and public spaces.
All the GPs of Keonjhar District in Odisha conducted Special Gram Sabhas for reading out the PM’s letter.
A state level workshop focusing on plastic waste management was held in Jharkhand. Participants including district officials were asked to involve communities to put in place measures for safe disposal of plastic waste. All of them took oath to limit use of single use plastic.