A global trend of rural-urban migration,
besides changing the demographic profile, is putting extreme
pressure on infrastructure availability of water and power,
expenditure on health and the general quality of life.
The government and administration cannot cope
with these environmental problems. A certain attitude has crept in
where the civic agencies feel that their legitimate task is beyond
their capabilities and they do whatever they can within their
mandate and the resources available. They also have a hesitation in
inviting outside intervention, for to them it is interference in
their job and a reflection of their inability to deal with the
It has become an established fact that
environment improvement actions have to be seen in a holistic manner
and the underlying premise is that "each one of us is responsible
for the current state of environment in the country, and we cannot
wait for someone else to solve it".
We have to ask ourselves what we can
contribute for such a gigantic but essential task. An awareness has
to be created right from the household level upwards to ensure that
we bestow a healthy environment not only for ourselves but also for
the sake of our future generations. To achieve such a climate, there
is a requirement for networking, interactions with all stakeholders,
joining hands and solving problems together.
CLEAN-India Programme is geared to fulfill
this task by assessing the state of environment, creating awareness,
taking positive action and propagating advocacy against environment
polluting activities. It has been successful in targeting school
children, encouraging them to find ways and means for catalysing
environment ameliorative measures. Once the children are convinced,
they will certainly ensure that their voices are heard and
aspirations translated into action. They have a powerful voice and
can influence communities to join in their efforts.
The programme has reached a take-off point.
With funding expected in the near future, the network is planned for
expansion to more towns in the states of U.P., M.P., South Indian
states and in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. NGOs who had
expressed their commitment for the programme are being contacted and
their willingness is being obtained. They, in turn will be
incorporating six local and six outstation schools from 5 to 6
neighbouring districts in the region. It is hoped that in due course
all the district towns of the country will become part of this
momentous exercise in environment campaign.
Over the last five years, Development
Alternatives has gained immense experience in mobilising communities
in assessing the environmental conditions and creating awareness.
Implementation action is being carried out. A series of documents
like manuals for NGOs, training workshops, water and air monitoring
procedures, guide to solid waste management, tree plantation
(including setting up of herb corners), medicinal plants and their
use in traditional medicines and activity handbooks for partner
schools, have all been prepared.
The first of its kind in the country, an
interactive digital Water Quality Map of Delhi and surrounding areas
has been prepared. This will be replicated for all the towns after
collection of data every season and will be of great utility to the
government, civic agencies and institutions. A digital air quality
map will also be prepared.
CLEAN-India Programme, through its website