MOT en­vis­ages a ‘Swachh’ In­dia

Lack of clean­li­ness is a major de­ter­rent for for­eign tourists com­ing into In­dia. With re­newed op­ti­mism, the Min­istry of Tourism has taken the ini­tia­tive for a clean In­dia, mak­ing sure the coun­try sheds this im­age.

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Clean­li­ness and hy­giene have al­ways been major de­ter­rents for for­eign tourists com­ing into In­dia. In lieu of the ‘Swach­hta hi Sewa’ (Clean­li­ness is ser­vice) cam­paign ini­ti­ated by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, the Min­istry of Tourism or­gan­ised a na­tion­wide cam­paign called ‘Swach­hta Pakhwada’ from Septem­ber 16 to Oc­to­ber 2, 2017. Un­der this cam­paign, MOT or­gan­ised clean­li­ness drives at var­i­ous tourist and pil­grim­age des­ti­na­tions across the coun­try through its In­dia Tourism of­fices. All ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes un­der the Min­istry of Tourism adopted at least one tourist place to main­tain clean­li­ness in a sus­tain­able way.

K.J. Alphons, Min­is­ter of State (IC) for Tourism led from the front in this ini­tia­tive by clean­ing var­i­ous sites to send out a more res­o­nant mes­sage to the en­tire na­tion. Speak­ing about the need for this ini­tia­tive, he ex­pressed, “The holi­est thing any In­dian can do is to keep their neigh­bour­hood clean for them­selves and help present In­dia in a bet­ter light to the world. This is the mes­sage we are try­ing to ad­vo­cate which re­quires an ef­fort on a daily ba­sis by not only the gov­ern­ment but each and ev­ery per­son.”

The Min­is­ter vol­un­teered for var­i­ous clean­li­ness ac­tiv­i­ties at In­dia Gate on Septem­ber 17, at Jan­path mar­ket on the World Tourism Day (Septem­ber 27) and at Smith Vil­lage, Shil­long, Megha­laya on Septem­ber 30. Of­fi­cers of the Min­istry of Tourism as well as stu­dents from the In­sti­tutes of Ho­tel Man­age­ment (IHM) were also present. The min­is­ter in­ter­acted with the vis­i­tors as well as shop­keep­ers and urged ev­ery­one to con­trib­ute to make the coun­try clean and wel­com­ing for tourists. He also ad­min­is­tered a ‘Swach­hta’ pledge to all par­tic­i­pants at th­ese places.

Apart from major cleanup ac­tiv­i­ties across In­dia, the cam­paign also wit­nessed pledge swear­ing, aware­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, es­say com­pe­ti­tion, street theatre and the re­lease of a film on ‘Swach­hta’, to in­stil clean­li­ness in the pub­lic. The cam­paign had been or­gan­ised at more than 80 places all over the coun­try dur­ing the pe­riod which was kick-started at Mumbai’s Juhu beach on Septem­ber 15.

The clean­li­ness drive also laid foun­da­tion for the ‘Adopt a Her­itage’ project whereby the tourism in­dus­try will help make mon­u­ments and sur­round­ing ar­eas more tourist hab­it­able. The Min­is­ter in­formed that MOT, in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with Min­istry of Cul­ture and Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia, en­vis­ages de­vel­op­ing her­itage sites and mak­ing them tourist friendly to en­hance their cul­tural im­por­tance, in a planned and phased man­ner. The project fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing ba­sic ameni­ties such as clean­li­ness, pub­lic con­ve­niences, drink­ing wa­ter, ease of ac­cess for tourists, sig­nage, etc. and ad­vanced ameni­ties like cafe­te­rias, sur­veil­lance sys­tem, tourist fa­cil­i­ta­tion cen­tre, il­lu­mi­na­tion in and around the mon­u­ments.

The holi­est thing any In­dian can do is to keep their neigh­bour­hood clean for them­selves and help present In­dia in a bet­ter light to the world. K.J. Alphons Min­is­ter of State (IC) for Tourism

Tourism Min­is­ter K.J. Alphons lend­ing a help­ing hand at Jan­path mar­ket in New Delhi on World Tourism Day

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