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MoT To Launch Campaign Clean India From April 2012 As Part Of 12th Five Year Plan

Organises workshop to formulate broad consensus on various ways to take the campaign forward


21 December 2011

P Krishna Kumar, New Delhi:

Campaign Clean India, an awareness and sensitisation campaign by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India will be launched as part of the initiatives for tourism in the 12th Five Year Plan from April 2012. The Campaign seeks to bring together media, government departments, NGOs, academia and the stakeholders of the travel industry and encourage active participation for promoting cleanliness initially at tourist spots and ultimately, throughout the country.

To chart out a broad consensus on various ways to take the campaign forward, a workshop was organised by the Ministry of Tourism, yesterday in New Delhi. Inaugurated by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, the workshop was attended by a galaxy of central ministers, parliamentarians, officials from various government departments, academia, NGOs, travel trade representatives, and media. Featuring special interactive sessions, the workshop saw five groups – academic, media, corporate, travel trade, and NGOs – meeting separately to deliberate on the measures to be taken at each level to make the campaign a success. The Ministry of Tourism will finalise the campaign model based on the deliberations in the next three months and launch the same from April, next year.

While delivering his inaugural speech, Kalam said that only a clean environment could empower the society and the country. He said that an integrated and coordinated effort is required on the part of the different ministries to achieve the objective. The former President also stressed on the need to involve the students of the country in keeping the destinations clean.

Speaking on the occasion, Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister for Tourism said that although India has everything to attract tourists, untidy and unhygienic surroundings around popular destinations result in a negative image of the destination and the country as a whole. Sahai said that while the initial emphasis of the Clean India Campaign is on tourist destinations in the country, the ultimate objective of the campaign is to see a clean India.

Urging for commitment and discipline to achieve the goal of creating a clean India, Dinesh Trivedi, Union Minister for Railways said that there is direct relationship between poverty, education, and cleanliness. “The most daunting task of the Railways is not safety and security, but keeping the train and station surroundings neat and tidy,” he said. He said that measures are being taken to keep trains and stations clean and changes will be visible shortly. The Railway Minister revealed that the government is mulling constituting a separate authority along the lines of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to manage the railway stations in the country.

RH Khwaja, Secretary Tourism, Government of India said, “Lack of hygiene and cleanliness is affecting the inbound traffic into India and every one has to join hands with one vision and one mission to overcome the challenge of cleaning up our destinations.”

Commenting on the campaign, TKA Nair, Adviser to the Prime Minister, said that a filthy destination repels both foreign and domestic tourists alike. “A massive effort is required not only by the stakeholders of the travel industry, but also by people from every walk of life. The magnitude of the effort required is huge. We should start by addressing the issue at the family level,” he informed.