Close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching ‘Swacchta hi Seva’ campaign at Mathura on Wednesday, Assam PHE minister Rihon Daimari also launched the campaign in the state at Silchar on Thursday.
But the ‘Swacchta hi Seva’ campaign – an initiative to drive away ‘single use plastics’ – launched by minister Daimari received lukewarm response.
Minister Daimari had to address in an almost empty auditorium attended by Minister for Fisheries, Excise & Forest Parimal Suklabaidya along with MLAs Dilip Kumar Paul, Amarchand Jain and Silchar MP DrRajdeep Roy.
An unhappy PHED minister Daimari said, “I am ashamed and feel extremely sorry that we could not rope in a large number of people today to kick-start this massive campaign that means a lot to our lives.”
Daimari added, “We cannot make this initiative a success completely if we do not get the support of the masses and more so of the NGOs, Self Help Groups (SHGs), media and the representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).”
He further said, “We have almost completed and attained the tag of an Open Defecation Free (ODF) State and only 4 pc of toilets in rural areas need to be completed, which we will finish by the end of this month.”
The Swacchta hi Sewa campaign, began on September 11, will continue till the 150th birth anniversary of ‘Father of the Nation’, Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 this year.
“Extensive awareness programmes through communities and schools need to be taken up for fulfilling the dreams of our PM, NarendraModi,” said Daimari.
Silchar MP Roy categorically stated, “I must say, this is an ‘emotional’ call by Narendra Modi, for which, we all should come out and do our task to eradicate the menace of single use plastics.”
He added, “Having said that, I would like to point out to the Public Health Engineering department that their name begins with the letter ‘Public’ and the attendance in this 600-seater auditorium (Banga Bhawan) says it all as to how much they are connected with the public.”
Minister Suklabaidya in his speech said, “We created the plastics and. But now, we want it to be destroyed having learnt the hazards that it can bring to us.”
“Whenever in our wildest dreams we think of ‘hell’ and ‘heaven’, we visualise hell as a rotten place, while the heaven would be a fairyland and if that is so, let us first purify our minds for cleanliness to follow suit,” said Suklabaidya.
Concluding the campaign for ‘Swacchta hi Sewa’, a pledge too was taken by all present in Banga Bhawan which was read out by PHED minister Rihon Daimari.