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Ministry of Railways gives hearing to a DU student's ideas to keep trains clean
I, a student of University of Delhi met Shri. Anant Swarup, Executive Director/Secretary, P.G to Minister of Railways, Ministry of Railways (Railway Board), Government of India and Shri. Abhay Bakre, Executive Director, E.G and H.M, Ministry of Railways (Railway Board), Government of India at Rail Bhawan, New Delhi regarding the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
I proposed several suggestions for the "Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat"; Mission-E-Safai (Clean India, Glow India) Initiative. Some of my key suggestions were:

(a) Outsource: Collaboration with Sulabh International: Under the Public Private Partnership the Indian Railway can collaborate with Sulabh International. Sulabh International has the apt technology for low maintenance of public toilets, which in fact can be used on railway platforms and on the trains as they even have adequate volunteers also to execute it in an adequate and systematic way leading to a cost effective and executable PPP project which can benefit the passengers to a great extent.

(b) Introducing Recyclable Dustbins made from materials cheap to source and make. But since its tough to clean these dustbins, any material such as canvas etc is bad for the bins and plastic gets dirty easily. I recommended steel bins for the same. There is a place under the side table in the A/C berths and there could be dustbins there and for cleaning they can be cleaned with a power wash. Use of plastic should be banned in the Indian Railways and an alternative and initiative such as placement of dustbins can prove to be a game changer as in India most people have mentality such as "Who will go to throw the wrapper outside near the washbasin, so they usually tend to dispose off under their seat."

(c) Use of different faucets and dispensers: The floor and the wash basin areas are always dirty in the railway. Why not introduce a dispenser which doesn't leak. The railway at present is using those tilt dispensers rather that they should use a pump action dispensers with different kind of faucets usually as the press and release ones leak water. Thus, leading to wet floor and unhealthy environment.

(d) Cleaning Machinery for Tracks: Vacuum under Track Troller: I proposed for the stations cleaning machinery for tracks. One can easily make a vacuum machinery under the track troller. This is an easy idea and using an onboard generator with few vacuum machines and this can be placed under track trollers. The one used for inspection of tracks and stuff. For safety they should have tec-tiles cart like Delhi metro stations have for blind people. We are planning to make a 3D model of the troller-vacuum machine and propose it to the government. I am already in contact with students from IIT, DTU, DU etc and they are planning to execute it very soon. It would also stop rat breeding on tracks too.

(e) Clean Station of the Year Award

Having started this people's project on October 2nd one would have expected a similar response from the CMs of different States. Sadly that is not forthcoming. I wonder if these people could be energized by providing an Annual Interstate Competition's of becoming the 'clean state' of the Year with a Clean Station of The Year Award. Similar competitions can be extended to village panchayats as well for the small station which is developed on rural belt. The winner will get a Trophy and a substantial cash award to their public fund! Getting, celebrities and entrepreneurs with philanthropy in them, may make it a major event of the country and we can gain the title of "Swachh Rail , Swachh Desh".

(f) Students as Volunteer for Awareness Programmes at Rural Sector

No doubt, India has progressed to a level to compete other developed nations in industrialization, agriculture, science, technology, and modernization. On the contrary majority of them are poverty stricken, illiterates, ill health and powerless. Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan being a People's Movement we need support of all 1.25 cr Indians to achieve the dream of Clean India. In India rural belt people are not aware of the fact that what is "Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan" so how can they contribute there part in this people's movement.

It is suggested that a Monthly Awareness Programme (MAP) spreading awareness about the need for "Swachh Bharat & Its advantages" must be carried out at Panchayat level, school level etc. This can add to success of this mission to a large. For spreading awareness no cost should be incurred but student's from different colleges can be recruited free of cost being a People's movement and they should educate in their Slums in their cities, zones & district's.

(g) High Unemployment & Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

Due to High Population India faces High Unemployment. I proposed to take a step for the Unemployed Poor People to join this People's Movement the "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" and give them jobs of cleaning places and in return give them decent Wages. In this way India will become Clean and also the Unemployed will get jobs. As a result the per capita income of India will also increase. Thus it will also reduce poverty, a challenge.

(h) Swachh Train of the Week

The Indian Railway should take a joint responsibility with different railway personnel's and should appoint different nodal officers for different sectors, routes. This can also be executed by PPP venture and a tracking system should be made to track the cleanliness of the train with the help of nodal officers especially appointed for this drive. Every week the trains excluding Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos, the rest express and mail trains should be tracked and a title of swachh train of the week can be honoured to that train. In the engine itself a sticker can be placed as " The Swachh Train of the Week". This can add to a huge success and can be a motivation for others as well as the passengers. I proposed the same to be executed by CSR (i.e, each industry acquiring minimum five coaches of the train").

The Director and other senior officials of the Ministry of Railways appreciated the views and suggestions for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

I usually had the perception that government officials are reluctant to work and just frame policies without having a check on its implementation. But after meeting Shri. Anant Swarup, E.D/Secretary to Minister of Railways my perception changed. He is in-fact man of action and a passionate person".

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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