Dharamshala: On this sunny morning, members of the Central Tibetan Administration and community members came together to take part in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Swachh Bharat is a national campaign initiated by Prime Minister Modi, aimed at increasing the cleanliness and sanitation of both urban and rural areas of India. This campaign was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a Clean India and urges citizens to do their part by cleaning up the environment around them. In honor of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary, the theme of this years Swachh Bharat was ending the use of single-use plastics.
The opening ceremony was in attendance by chief guest Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, along with the six incumbent Kalons; Kalon Ven Yuthok Karma Gelek (Religion & Culture), Kalon Sonam Topgyal Khorlatsang (Home), Kalon Karma Yeshi (Finance), Kalon Dr Pema Yangchen (Education), Kalon Phagpa Tsering (Security), Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk (Health), and their respective departmental secretaries.
In his speech, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay explained that everyone must do anything they can to help sustain and improve the environment, even if it is just something small as turning off the lights when it’s not needed and using solar panels to power electricity as the Department of Home does. Furthermore, Sikyong emphasized the interrelation of nature to our lives by bringing to mind that important moments in the Buddha’s life also involved nature; birth and demist under a tree, and attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
Health Secretary, Palden Dhondup also iterated the importance of teaching the younger generation how to take care of their environment; “Lamton”. In addition, related to the theme of “ending single-use plastic,” he stressed if a plastic product is thrown on the ground, it will remain there for ages as it takes years and years to decompose, in turn, hindering the environment and animals around it.
The children of Gangkyi Peteon School also performed a short drama on the importance of keeping your environment clean and the effects it has on the plants and animals around them.
At the end of the opening ceremony, each department received their cleaning tools and dispersed around the CTA and Gangkyi area. Everyone worked together in picking up trash, cleaning out water gutters, and clearing out weeds.
By paying extra attention to our environment and sanitation, we are working towards a better and cleaner India. As Mahatma Gandhi said,“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
The CTA Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 2019 was organised by the Department of Health, CTA.