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April 11, 2018
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“Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign

In News:

To commemorate the launch of Champaran Satyagraha over a century ago on 10th April, 1917, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in coordination with the Government of Bihar, is working to spread the message of Swachhata across the country by initiating the “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign.

Details:

Under the campaign, Swachhagrahis from different parts of the country were invited to Bihar, where they worked with 10,000 Swachhagrahis from Bihar to “trigger” behaviour change throughout the 38 districts of the State and build momentum of the jan andolan further.

Significance of the campaign:

Mahatma Gandhi launched the Champaran Satyagraha over a century ago, on 10th April, 1917, to give the country freedom from foreign rule. April 10th, 2018 marks the end of the centenary year celebrations of the Champaran Satyagraha, and is going to be celebrated through the “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign, which is aimed at achieving freedom from filth.

About SBM- Gramin:

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Gramin, launched on October 2, 2014 is the largest behaviour change campaign ever attempted in the field of sanitation in the world.

It aims to build an ODF (Open Defecation Free) and Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

SBM-Gramin mainly focuses on ensuring the use of toilets, besides their construction. The States and their implementing agencies will be given incentives for meeting performance standards: reducing open defecation, sustaining their open defecation-free status and improving solid and liquid waste management in rural areas.

Significance of the scheme:

In Rural India, this would mean improving the levels of cleanliness through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making villages Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitised.

About the Champaran Satyagraha:

It was undertaken in the erstwhile undivided Champaran district in northern Bihar. Mahatma Gandhi went there in April, 1917 on learning about the abuses suffered by the cultivators of the district, forced into growing indigo by British planters/estate owners.

Even Gandhi was reluctant to commit himself to task in the beginning. But he was so thoroughly persuaded by Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator from Champaran that he decided to investigate into the matter.

Gandhi’s method of inquiry at Champaran was based on surveys by the volunteers. The respondents who willingly gave statements should sign the papers or give thumb impressions.

For those unwilling to participate, the reasons must be recorded by the volunteers. The principal volunteers in this survey were mostly lawyers like Babu Rajendra Prasad, Dharnidhar Prasad, Gorakh Prasad, Ramnawami Prasad, Sambhusaran and Anugraha Narain Sinha.

Outcomes:

In June 1917, the British administration declared the formation of a formal inquiry committee with Gandhi aboard. The Government accepted almost all its recommendations. The principal recommendation accepted was complete abolition of Tinkathia system. It was a major blow to the British planters who became resentful. But they could not prevent the passage of Champaran Agrarian Act in Bihar & Orissa Legislative Council on March 4, 1918.

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