The Ministry of Railways in India, in its unwavering commitment to cleanliness, has officially launched the Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 campaign. This initiative, aimed at promoting cleanliness and environmental consciousness, commenced on the 15th of September, 2023.
Inauguration of Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 by Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha
Chairperson & CEO of the Railway Board, Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha, kicked off the event at Rail Bhawan by leading the Swachhata Pledge. This pledge encompassed the entire Railway family, comprising committed railway employees and senior officials from various Railway Zones and Divisions, all brought together through video conferencing.
The Swachhata Pledge embraced by the entire Railway family is built upon three fundamental principles: an individual’s dedication to cleanliness, the allocation of a hundred hours each year for cleanliness-related activities, and actively spreading the message of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
A Month-Long Commitment to Cleanliness
The Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 is observed from the 16th of September to the 30th of September. However, in an extraordinary display of dedication, the Ministry of Railways has extended it suo-moto (at their own initiative) until the 2nd of October, culminating with Mahatma Gandhi’s Jayanti, a day that epitomizes the values of cleanliness and sustainable living.
Joining Hands for a Cleaner India: ‘Swachhata hi Sewa’ (SHS) Campaign’
This year, the Ministry of Railways joins forces with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Jal Shakti for the ‘Swachhata hi Sewa‘ (SHS) Campaign, which runs from the 15th of September to the 2nd of October. Activities from the SHS Campaign have been seamlessly integrated into the Indian Railways’ Swachhata Pakhwada program, fostering a stronger commitment to cleanliness and sustainability.
Dedicated Days and Extensive Awareness Campaigns
To ensure the effectiveness of Swachhata Pakhwada – 2023, dedicated days have been assigned for specific activities, including Swachh Railgadi, Swachh Station, Swachh Aahar, and Swachh Tracks. Additionally, extensive awareness campaigns are planned, utilizing digital media and public announcements via PA systems to educate people about the use of bio-toilets, the importance of avoiding single-use plastic, and fostering cleanliness habits in daily life.
Recognizing Excellence: Swachhata Pakhwada Awards
To encourage greater participation and ensure more impactful results during the fortnight-long campaign, Swachhata Pakhwada Awards have been established. The Ministry of Jal Shakti, the nodal ministry, provides these awards to recognize field functionaries, attached offices, and subordinate organizations for their exemplary performance during the Pakhwada period.
Last year’s Swachhata Pakhwada – 2022 awards were distributed as follows:
1st Position: South Western Railway
2nd Position: Western Railway
3rd Position: North Eastern Railway
Indian Railways: A Champion for a Clean and Green Environment
Indian Railways, known for its role as an environmentally friendly means of bulk transportation, has consistently taken initiatives to promote a clean and green environment. Notable efforts include the introduction of bio-toilets on coaches, leading to cleaner tracks, the segregation of bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste, efficient solid waste management, and active discouragement of single-use plastic.
As the Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 unfolds, the Ministry of Railways, in collaboration with other ministries, continues to lead the way in fostering a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable India, inspired by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and dedicated to the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Key takeaways for competitive examinations
- Minister of Railways of India: Ashwini Vaishnaw