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“Jhaadoo toh hamara chunav chinh hai. Modiji ne aaj isko hijack kar lia,”an Aam Aadmi Party volunteer was sulking sipping tea after cleaning the area around Gole Market in Jammu. The tea was served free to all those who were involved in this mass movement called Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Pawan Tikkoo, a bank employee was smiling like Monalisa after listening to this fellow from AAP. Just like Pawan there have been others too taking brief rest after cleaning the area. Sitting next to Pawan, Kulvinder Singh said, “Post-flood the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir needs cleaning drive. The Prime Minister Modiji rightly challenged Dr Jitender to flag off the Abhiyaan here in Jammu.” Looking at the sulking AAP volunteer Kulvinder continued, “He had to start his campaign from a school but an envious Congress leader used power to get the Government Higher Secondary School Bhour Camp closed where Dr Jitender had to start plantation plus Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. He also tore all the banners.” Tch Tch was the reaction of the group at this factual piece of information. Dharam Pal, a resident of Bhour Camp continued,” Ek Baat Hai ji Modiji Mei Himmat Bahut Hai. America Mei Bhi Swachh Bharat Ki Baat Ki Aur Aaj Jhadoo Lagaya Aur Haathon Se Kooda Bhi Uthayaji.” At this an elderly well-built man in white shirt and Khaki shorts said,” “It took 67 years for nation to practice dignity of labour. Since 1948 the Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi had been observed as promotion of Khadi Gram Udyog but the way Bapu started his mission to do away with social discrimination by cleaning his own lavatory at his South Africa Ashram the party ruling the country using his name never promoted or propagated that”. “Hanji Hanji,” came the response from Kulpreet Kaur. Kulpreet and her neighbours were serving tea to all. This tea and Matthi was arranged by a nearby Gurudwara. Here it is relevant and important to tell that food packets for flood relief had been air lifted from Harmandir Sahib at Amritsar. “Let’s talk while we broom the place.” said the Swayam Sewak. What a movement and the moment!! Brooms in hands of all not for votes but for cleaning. “Tilak Chand do you think the area we are cleaning today will remain clean as such?” “Veerji lets do our part today and each day,” responded Tilak in blue shirt and grey track pant. “All of us keep our homes and shops clean then why not our surroundings?” asked Tilak in return. “Hello Mutajar how is the cleaning going in Kanak Mandi? Only BJP activists are there or traders also have joined?” Pawan Tikkoo was talking on his mobile while sweeping. Thanks to blue tooth now you need not to carry mobile phone while doing any manual work.”Bhaijaan Hum Bhi Lage Hue Hain. Kejriwal Ka Jhaadoo Lekar. Modiji Ne Toh Dil Jeet Liya. Samnewala Vo Congress supporter Keh Raha Tha Ki Pehle Modiji Ne Sardar Patel Ko hijack Kia Aur ab Gandhiji Ko Bhi. Maan gaye Modiji Ko. Apni Dukaan Aur Aas Pass Sab Saaf Ho Raha Hai. Awaaaz Kat Rahi Hai. Bye!” “Papa today it seems that the whole nation is active for cleaning the country.” Said little Bunty from the balcony. He continued, “Papa ji even Chief of Army said that army will contribute in the mission.” Stroking her hands on his head his father said, “Have you not seen that how army personnel were tirelessly working to rescue people here. Now they are rescuing the people of Assam from the flood hit areas. It is our army that remains dedicated in serving to our emergencies.” Just then a news flashed, “Ceasefire violation in Poonch by Pakistan Army.” Bunty said to his father, “Papaji in 67 years we have reached Mars but Pakistan is just trying to infiltrate Kashmir. In recent UN General Assembly our Prime Minister clearly told that the terrorism will not be tolerated. Still these Pakistanis do not understand.” “You do not worry our soldiers are going to give them tit for tat.” “Such grand return gift to Mahatma Gandhi was never expected. Throughout the country the enthusiasm has been phenomenal. This net savvy Prime Minister hijacked the pride of being the first to crack the news from the journalists as he tweets the facts himself. He hijacked the concept of ‘challenge the next nine’ and used it beautifully for the betterment of the nation. He breaks the barriers to make the young feel associated.” said Dharam Rana. “Do you know the ministry had got 3,000+ suggestions for making the mission of keeping country clean accomplished?” spoke Pawan. “Yes. I read it on Facebook. Actually I also gave a suggestion. At every 100 meters there must be a garbage bin. It will help people manage the trash,”said Kulvinder. “Very good and very practical but the question is who will spend money on installing the bins?” asked Pawan. Listening to them Dharam said, “It is public and government’s joint responsibility. The hotel owners and tour operators can put advertisements on dustbins.It will be one time investment. Why we must expect everything from the government.” At this all laughed. “Here the State Government has stopped working. If the Central Government and the military had not joined hands then millions would have not been saved,” said Dharam Rana. “Did you listen that speech of Prime Minister from Madison Garden? He made even NRIs understand that for their growth they have to be party to Clean India Mission. It is not about filth on roads but there is need of toilet facility for all. Even today in our villages people defecate in the open as keeping a toilet in house was thought to be unhygienic. But the rich had been getting septic tanks in their homes which the poor cannot afford,”said Kulvinder. “Truly it is very bad that for nature’s call while on road journey men use the open field but for women there is no provision. In a way this campaign is timely needed as holding nature’s call for long hours causes health problems like renal failure,”said Pawan. While walking and sweeping they were on the North End of the road. Once again there was a small table erected by Gurudwara Sabha serving the food. There was shine of sweat on every face. There was a sort of satisfaction on cleanliness that had made many value the Safai Karamcharis efforts and also came to realise their constraints. Today the brooms had been dignified as without them neither Harry Potter nor our PM could enchant the masses.

Alka Vasudeva

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