Clean India, not BITS Pilani

A look into why BPHC is not yet a part of a Pan-India People’s Movement yet

The day of 2nd October saw students looking extremely relieved. With Gandhi Jayanti, Dussehra and the weekend all lined up, four days of break from academics was assured. Some packed their suitcases, some dug deeper into their beds at the break of dawn after a 16 hour movie marathon. To each his own celebration, indeed.

In another part of the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by taking the lead with a broom to clean up a police station and a scavengers’ colony in the capital.

He initiated the campaign on twitter and added, “If you see garbage anywhere, please take a picture and upload on social media. Then take a video of you cleaning it and then upload the photo of the clean spot too. I urge the media to bring out stories of people who have set an example by making their areas clean. Every small story will encourage thousands.”

A video by The Ugly Indians went viral, with many of the shares being contributed by students of BPHC. This inspiring video answered a question that has trudged through centuries and has finally been taken for granted: Why is India so filthy?

I went home that very weekend, prior to the Diwali house-cleaning and discussed the painting of the house with my father. House-cleaning had always been my mother’s area of interest really, but my i infather was uncharacteristically pumped up about it and ruined all my hopes of being treated like royalty back at home.

He said, “Last week, some of us from the neighbourhood went around with our brooms and cleaned the streets. The street in front of our house is finally clean. We can finally get our walls painted!” He grinned with satisfaction and said, to my utter dismay, “You should help clean the house too.”

After the Diwali cleaning, I rushed back to campus as soon as I could to celebrate the festival with my friends. Diwali on campus was a beauty- an extremely colourful affair, and is vividly seared into all of our memories. After the bursting of firecrackers had finally come to an end, it was obvious that the football field was a mess. Bits of paper from the firecrackers were lying all over the place.

Later, I would find out, that six women from housekeeping would clean three sets of grounds over two weeks, littered by around 200 students with many tiny scraps of almost-burnt out paper. I realized, it would have been much more simpler if 50 of the students who had littered, volunteered to clean the grounds instead.

It’s no secret at all that the college spends graciously on housekeeping, maintenance and security. The swamp in front of Mess 2 has finally been cleared only to find people throwing litter into ditches lining the roads, and at the dugout bases of trees. The ground is being cleared and the stray plants are being weeded out around the football grounds on the occasion of Abhinandan dinner.

The Swachh Bharat Campaign hasn’t gained much importance on campus. Possibly because not all of us are well in touch with current affairs or because most of the work is being done by housekeeping without any questions asked .

No matter what the reason is, this article should act as a wake up call. Join the new Indian movement already and definitely keep that broom in handy!

That means, yes, first go find it. Happy Cleaning, folks!

Meghana Yerabati


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