Tuesday, 2 January 2018


Recently CAP member Viney Kirpal of GREAT Foundation, Pune wrote this essay that won her a National Award in the Senior Citizen category from among 12408 entries submitted by 29 States during the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan celebrations.

The function was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 2 October 2017 at the Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The award carried a citation, a shield and a cash prize of Rs. 75,000/-. The essay had a word limit of 250. Hope you like it. It is very simple. 

Receiving the award from MOS Hardeep Singh Puri and MOS Shri RC Jaggajigni Onlooking is  MOS SS Ahluwalia

As a child I observed my Mother would never throw down anything on the pavement. Like her, I carry home a banana skin, a used paper napkin if I cannot find a dustbin. Everyone thinks they are the only ones flinging out a tiny piece of uneaten apple out of the car window. But when many hands do that, it becomes a smelly heap.

Cleanliness is about consideration for others. It begins with each hand vowing not to litter. If we could adopt just this one habit and pass it on to our children and grandchildren, we could make a huge contribution to a clean India. 

A beautiful deep blue gorge strikes a note of dissonance when empty coke cans, used paper, plates, dirty rags, chucked into its waters by careless hands, are seen stuck among the romantic boulders. Do those hands even once think of the damage they are doing to the environment? If I want a clean India I must teach my hand a little discipline, a little responsibility. It takes just one hand – my own- to behave mindfully to keep my country clean. If 1.3 billion hands acted with consideration towards our plains, hills, valleys, waterways our Bharat would develop a swachh siddhi.

Cleanliness is next to godliness. There is peace in cleanliness. If the collective hand of India stops littering, garbage mountains wouldn’t rise. The power of the hand is enormous. I would teach my hand some manners to make India clean.

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