Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Tourism
20-December-2011 18:13 IST
Cleaniness and Hygenie Inportant for Development of Tourism Says Subodh Kant
All-India Workshop on Campaign Clean India held
The Hospitality and Tourism Industry requires convergence of efforts for achieving the targeted delivery. The Ministry of Tourism has constantly worked towards facilitating this convergence. Presiding over the All-India Workshop organised by Ministry of Tourism on Campaign Clean India in New Delhi today Union Minister for Tourism, Shri Subodh Kant Sahai said that cleanliness and proper hygiene are universally regarded as indispensable existential norms that must inform and permeate all our actions. However, a consciousness in terms of education, demonstration and training is required to be created to ensure that these norms become part of a national psyche, at home and outside it. He said conversely, lack of or inadequate personal and environmental cleanliness will have a pull-down impact on the image-India, the worst hit being the tourism sector where the first impression of a visitor is often his last. The Minister said Ministry of Tourism will therefore visualise and look for an India that impacts a visitor, to begin with, for its cleanliness and hygiene.

The Tourism Minister said workshop has brought together individuals and institutions representing varied interests. Their quest is common however – to see India clean. The Workshop will hopefully see the emergence of action groups, each with a clear functional mandate. It should create cleanliness-activists amongst students. Shri Sahai said that the pro-active commitment of regulatory bodies in the campaign is a must. He urged the Media to promote the campaign on a regular basis. Shri Subodh Kant said the success of this campaign is crucial to achieving the targeted growth rate of 12% in in-bound and domestic tourists arrivals during the 12th Plan. He said achievement of this growth will call for quality facilities and infrastructure. It will also call for an ambience that is clean and friendly to the tourists.

The Union Tourism Minister said the cleanliness task will be onerous. He said an independent study, conducted at five tourist destinations, has categorized hygiene and sanitation conditions, solid waste management and provision of hygienically maintained public amenities high in importance but low in satisfaction. The Campaign will be expected to correct these weaknesses. Shri Sahai said the success of Campaign may well decide if the targeted growth specific to tourism would be achieved. This ultimately gets connected to job creations. The campaign is, therefore, taken as a poverty alleviation strategy too.

The Tourism Minister informed the gathering that his Ministry will finalize and plan the campaign strategy, incorporating the Workshop recommendations, by 31st March, 2012. The implementation will start from 1st April, 2012.Importance of the campaign has been flagged to the Planning Commission and hopefully the Ministry Of Tourism may not be found wanting in offering institutional support and funds that the campaign may need, the Minister added .

Inaugurating the workshop former President, Shri A.P.J.Abdul Kalam said that clean environment empowers the societies. He called for converting the fly ash wealth generator for clean environment Shri Kalam suggested that cleanliness drive should be extended to worship places as large number of people gather there. He also suggested the involvement of their students in large numbers in prevention of indiscriminate dumping and better location of garbage collection points. Referring to the Maldives model of tourism Shri Kalam said India can study this model and evolve a total package of turn key tourist systems to be developed by tourist system partners which should include maintenance and upkeep of tourist destinations. The former President also suggested involvement of village panchayats and local self bodies in the campaign.

Former Union Minister and former Member of Parliament Shri Shatrughan Sinha and noted cine actor from South, Shri Chiranjivi in their address offered their whole-hearted support to the campaign. They said their services are at the disposal of Ministry of Tourism to carry forward the message of clean India.

The “Campaign Clean India” is aimed to undertake both sensitization and action at field level on bringing our tourism destinations and their surroundings to an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene. The objective is also to ensure that these levels are sustained through ownership and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders. The campaign will be part of Government’s strategy of the 12th five year plan for improving the quality of services and environs in and around tourist destinations across India.

The mission of the Ministry Of Tourism will be to build up an effort that relentlessly sensitizes the people at large to the reality that their own well being is inalienably connected to a healthy sustenance of the milieu that they are part of, including their neighbourhood, their mohalla, their city and finally their country; that the filth and squalor without will eventually get reflected within. Cleanliness though is every one’s mandate, the Ministry Of Tourism will yet appear justified in taking the lead to that end, almost as of duty, for a clean-India is a pre-requisite to achieving the targeted growth of tourism. A time indeed has come to back up the universally conveyed sentiment ‘Athithi Devo Bhawah’ with results on the ground lest it is dubbed a mere rhetoric. Clean India will be a gigantic task. However, no amount of resource investment can achieve it unless we have a collective mindset that abhors unclean. The approach will have to be comprehensive and inclusive. It will have to involve every strata of the society, people of every age, Institutions on a wide spectrum – schools, colleges, NGOs, professional bodies and the governments. The effort in its totality will aim at helping people to evolve from their casual concern for cleanliness to an abiding commitment, to a passion, eventually to a mindset that will not suffer and endure un-cleanliness.

The Ministry Of Tourism will constitute a Steering Group under Secretary Tourism to take the Campaign forward. The Group will have on it important agencies in the field, such as Sulabh International. The workshop has been organized to hold wider consultations on the campaign, strategize the campaign as people’ programme, to strive for a synergy of efforts with other Ministries concerned, State Governments, Industry and corporate, other institutions / interested individuals and Schools/ colleges / private institutes, to secure the support and commitment of the regulatory agencies to the campaign, such as the Police and Municipalities to develop implementable program of action and to give the campaign the desired visibility and momentum by taking the media on board

The Workshop has participants representing possible action groups on a wide sweep including students, teachers, parent-teacher associations, NGOs, INTACH, Sulabh International, professional bodies, clubs of repute, hotels, hotel associations, MNCs, Banks Adventure Clubs, Adventure Tour Operators, Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Transport, Operators, Tourist Guides Federation of India , Representative Associations, media persons, film personalities, travel media, DAVP, print media, TV Channels, Archaeological Survey of India, Municipalities, Police, State Governments, Central Ministries, etc. The workshop has been divided into five groups : Academic Group, Group of Institutional Volunteers, Travel Trade Group, Corporate Group and Media Group.

In the year 2009, the Ministry conducted an independent study to identify major gaps that existed in terms of infrastructure and service delivery at major tourist destinations. Five destinations having substantial tourist footfalls were selected for the study. In the study, various infrastructure and service related attributes were categorized based on their perceived level of importance and satisfaction levels. The study concluded that both for foreign and domestic tourist, the key factors that were categorized as low in satisfaction and high in importance included , Hygiene and Sanitation conditions in and around the monuments/ destinations, Solid Waste Management around the monuments/destinations, and absence of hygienically maintained public amenities like Toilets

The Ministry of Tourism has all along been alive to and seized of this problem. It has been undertaking a major domestic social awareness media campaign under the brand of “Atithi Devo Bhawah”. Shri Aamir Khan, Film Actor is the Brand Ambassador of the campaign since the year 2008. The campaign is being run on Television channels, FM Radio channels, print and internet media under various themes. These include “campaign against defacement of monuments” and “Hygiene, sanitation and solid waste management”. The campaign has been well received and effective in sensitizing the domestic stakeholders on these issues.

However, it was felt that the social awareness campaign though a step forward was not enough to meet the magnitude and pervasiveness of the problem of lack of hygiene and cleanliness. The need was to put in a comprehensive strategy, in consultation and partnership with the key stakeholders, providing for multi pronged action. Hence, the Campaign Clean India has been proposed.

The campaign will aim at creating a collective mindset of hygiene and cleanliness. It will employ a balance of persuasion, education, sensitization, training, demonstration and regulation for achieving its goal. The approach will be comprehensive and inclusive. It will involve every strata of the society, people of every age, Institutions on a wide spectrum – schools, colleges, NGOs, professional bodies and the governments.

Union Railway Minister, Shri Dinesh Trivedi, Minister of State for Tourism, Shri Sultan Ahmed, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister, Delhi, and Shri Ravi Kishan, Cine actor also spoke on the occasion.