The mission to keep India clean and its cities and villages free of disease is being undertaken by enterprising citizens across the country, many of whom had to rise above initial apathy and ridicule to make a difference at the local, state and national levels. Bihar is not slowing down when it comes to contributing towards Swachh Bharat. Here are the stories — in no particular order — of such people who have kept their neighborhoods clean, through hard work, determination and persistence.
When it comes to hygiene, ’s Sasaram district does not compromise. When her husband and in-laws refused to pay for a toilet, she mortgaged her mangalsutra for Rs 8,000 to construct a toilet. Her fame spread quickly and she was appointed a brand ambassador of the Swachh Bharat mission.
Vijay Kumar Nirala
After he joined Usri Gogri middle school in Bihar’s Khagaria district as a headmaster in 2017, he worked night and day to transform the school. Now, bereft of stained walls, heaps of garbage and dirty water, the school has won a state-level award for cleanliness and has been nominated at the national level for a cleanliness award.
A cleanliness movement Harsh Jha, 22, started in Bihar’s Bihariganj is now spreading across the district. After a summer internship with the Swachh Bharat mission, Jha formed teams of 8-10 young people and got down to cleaning the streets of the town . Now, they also work with locals, making them aware of hygiene practices. Jodie Underhill
Keshav Krishna,39, might be a small businessman but he has a big dream. A resident of Bihar’s Motihari, Krishna runs a “selfie with safai” campaign where he encourages young people to take selfies of themselves cleaning neighborhoods. He also wants to end the usage of polythene bags in the city.
From Samastipur in Bihar to Haridwar and Gangasagar to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Bhai Randheer’s Ganga campaign has touched many cities. He is trying to make sure that the water as well as the ghats of the Ganga are clean. He even observes a fast to spread awareness. A resident of Samastipur, his journey started in 2000. And he says it will continue till the Ganga is free of pollution.
Amit Kumar Sahara
Amit Kumar Sahara begins every day in Doomar village of Katihar by cleaning the streets with the help of a team of youngsters who joined his efforts after getting inspired by the 26-year-old. Sahara says one of the best ways to keep diseases at bay is by ensuring cleanliness. The History graduate’s initiative has found support in his parents and district officials, who have appointed him as a ‘Swachhta Doot’ in the area.