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Below is an email from Suresh Mathur, Facilitator My Clean School Ajmer. It raises many thought provoking ideas. From: Suresh Mathur  Sent: Wednesday, 5 November 2014 1:29 PM To: Remco van Santen Subject: Clean India For any activity or idea to be enduring it must touch the heart or come from the heart.    When I go to schools and address children I try to make them aware of the huge potential there is in them to bring about a change in their environment if THEY WANTED TO DO SO. When you ask them what changes they would like to see or bring about in the school premises, very often you get little response, particularly in the Govt. schools. I think it is because by and large the students are not ASKED to give suggestions but are TOLD to clean up or not to litter etc. And when any cleaning up work is being done I do not see any teachers leading from the front! They merely stand and direct! It must suggest to students that cleaning the campus is for lesser beings-students! and teachers or grown ups are superior beings,not to do 'menial' work!   When I was studying in Mayo I saw my Principal pick up litter first and this has become a part of me now. The other day there was a picture of the Ajmer Collector picking up litter from in front of shops in Pushkar! Leading by example! And a great and welcome transformation in attitude!   Every Sunday morning some members of our colony  do 2 hours of cleaning of the lanes.While there are one or two who come for the photos, the majority are keen to have a clean residential area even if they have to do it themselves! You should have seen their beaming faces and the sense of pride when they saw the outcome of their efforts! They were really proud of their street. It seems there is a sense of belonging, of ownership, and they were going to tell all their neighbours to do their bit in keeping the place clean!   The challenge of cleaning up India is huge and it is urgent! We have allowed the country to deteriorate into a filthy place because everybody thinks it is the Administration's responsibility to keep the city/area clean. And they are not delivering, nor are they inviting or enthusing the public to participate and the easy option of blaming each other has been going on!   What PM Modi has done is unprecedented. He has put cleaning up India as his top priority and is leading by example, connecting with the youth, directing his Ministers to clean up their Secretariats, inviting celebrities to come out and clean areas and so on. The local admin. is beginning to talk tough- levy fines on shops which have litter in front of them and etc. If you spit chewing gum in Singapore you can be put in Jail! I saw a sign in Canada which said"Stoop and Scoop. Penalty for not doing so: $2500.00"   Rem, what I am trying to say is that in India at this point one needs to use every possible way to get people going to clean up the areas in their proximity. I think we need to reach a level of cleanliness and sanitation(a sort of tipping point!) which will make people feel proud of where they live.Ownership and a sense of belonging would be the likely outcomes and THEN people will WANT to keep their surroundings clean and green!   With regard to having a Clean India Day/National Clean Up Day I think it is a super idea. There is a World Clean Up Day I believe. We need to put some ideas/suggestions together and will write to you again in a day or so.   Suresh Remco’s response.... Prime Minister Modi has declared a Clean India by 2015 with My Clean India. WOW!! Well, I have received many emails, and with permission I want to share this sensitive and insightful one from Suresh Mathur in Ajmer who with his team is producing outstanding results especially with the schools. See what he says below. Take a few minutes to read on. Do you agree that it is about pride and looking good? Notice how many say yes and other platitudes  with ‘should’ and ‘must’ words? Who actually is in action? Do you agree with Suresh? If so, what can you do about it? If it is indeed about pride and looking good and not pointing your fingers to others, should you promote a motto? What about ….. ”Show your pride in your country and get your hands dirty.” Or “India is described as “Incredible”, what can you do now to make it make look Incredible?” Do you have other ideas?? PLEASE take a few minutes to read Suresh’s email. We are reaching a Tipping Point as Suresh suggests. And again, it is not about cleanliness so much, but about an attitude with cleanliness as a symptom. Each country has its ‘symptoms’, including my own and it is time My Clean India was truly owned by everyone. So what will you do now???? Remco