Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban’s efforts towards transforming cities to become garbage free receives a fresh impetus. Launched by Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, SBM-Urban 2.0’s maiden edition of ‘Indian Swachhata League’ has mobilized half a million young students, citizen volunteers, youth leaders, and celebrity icons across the country towards the Mission’s goal of making cities clean, green, and garbage free. As part of the ongoing fortnight long celebrations ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’ from 17th Sept. 2022, Seva Diwas, till 2nd Oct. 2022, Gandhi Jayanti, this inter-city, league-based Swachhata challenge has successfully harnessed youth energy from 1,800+ cities to rally for garbage free beaches, hills, and tourist places.
City teams displayed their passion for Swachhata by undertaking various creative and unique initiatives. Cities teams from Ludhiana in Punjab; Panvel and Pune in Maharashtra, Pathsala in Assam, and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh advocated for both Swachhata and swasthya by organizing cycle rallies with youth.
Youth teams in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and Chandigarh spread the message of source segregation in the most unique manner. Nearly 5,000 young students of Team Bemisaal Bhopal formed a human chain to showcase the six-bin system for improved waste management, while more than 2,000 students of Team Chandigarh Challengers came forward to showcase four bins.
Youth teams came together to undertake beach clean-ups as well. Nearly 4,000 volunteers in Greater Mumbai, Maharashtra walked more than 50 kilometres to clean thirty tonnes of waste from 49 beaches spread across 8 prominent locations. Teams from Puri and Kerala created sand art to advocate for clean and plastic free beaches while Team Mangaluru Swachhata Soldiers deployed 5,000 active youth to clean 11 different beaches. Youth from Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and Team Pristine Port Blair from the Union Territory of Port Blair also actively took part in the maiden edition of Indian Swachhata League.
Lakhs of youth also advocated for clean and garbage free hills. Several cities from Jammu and Kashmir such as Ganderbal, Pahalgam, Anantnag, Dooruverinag, and Bijbehara rallied with thousands of citizens to spread awareness regarding swachhata. Youth power in the Northeastern states of Mizoram, Tripura, Assam, Sikkim and Nagaland added to the national fervour around Indian Swachhata League.
Teams across India undertook mass plogging and clean up drives. Lakhs of youth came together to support their city teams. Team Jameshedpur Jaguars from Jharkhand, Team Paradip Titans from Odisha, Team Coimbatore and Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Team Suryapet, Telangana and Team Swachh Visakha Warriors, Andhra Pradesh made notable contributions to the ISL.
The best teams of this youth-led competition will be chosen by an independent process involving jury members of national repute. The evaluation will be on the basis of scale of participation, uniqueness of the activity, and impact of cleanliness initiatives. It is expected that the mission will trigger more focused participation of youth by involving focused on ground action for sanitation, waste management and the impact of cleanliness drive.