Mohit and Seema reached school at 7 A.M.They were really excited as it was Environment Week and they were comperes for the event. They had a script ready, were wearing spic and span uniform and looked forward to leading the show. As they reached the school they saw that the entire school was in a mess. There were leaves lying everywhere because of the storm last night. The safai karamcharis were desperately trying to clean the place but there was hardly any time left for the programme to begin. The teacher requested them to help a little. At first they were taken aback but later they realised the gravity of the situation and helped in tidying the place.
The program began and ended and taught them the lesson of cleanliness being next to Godliness. It became a part of their life; both of them decided that they would make people aware about keeping the environment clean. One day when they politely told a man not to throw litter on the street, the man shouted at them. A few days later a driver of a car abused them when they tried to advise him against throwing a plastic bottle out of the car. It set them thinking; it is not easy to accept new thoughts and ideas. Change is necessary and change means progress but it requires a lot of effort. Gandhi’s Non-cooperation movement or Ahimsa were not easy battles, they took years to implement.
They decided to start at a slow pace; they made children responsible in school to make other children aware about the need to keep the environment clean, the necessity to plant trees, the need to have carpool, the steps required to stop global warming and to go home and make their parents and neighbours aware about the issue. The movement slowly gained momentum. A write up in a leading newspaper made them popular in the community, two individuals working towards a better future. They borrowed the earth from their forefathers, it was ailing and they would find a cure.
Some volunteers from the society came forward and joined the movement. It started with the locality and became a ‘Clean the City’ campaign. From small beginnings come great things and vision with action is the dream fulfilled. The people who had shouted and criticised them earlier realised their mistake and took a pledge to keep the environment clean. It continued with planting of trees in the area, carpools, keeping more dustbins and so on. Finally, the idea spread to other cities and soon the entire nation became environment friendly and eco-friendly,
Cleanliness of spirit is as important as the environment and the soul is interlinked in the existence, purity of mind and traditional value system based on integrity and honesty is the way to move ahead in a world full of strife and commercialisation. Mohan and Seema comprehended the need for a strong value system and followed the traditions of their forefathers, coupled with a sense of responsibility towards the younger generation. Freedom is essential but a limit had to be set. The facilitators from the school volunteered to take classes on value education and developed a sense of morality in the learners. The aim was holistic development, body, mind and spirit. There are stones all around us. What do we build? A wall or a bridge? A small spark enlightened not only two lives but showed a way to the whole nation. Improvement always begins with an ‘I’.
- Compere: host of a show
- Carpool: an arrangement between people to make a regular journey in a single vehicle, typically with each person taking turns to drive the others.