Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a nation-wide campaign in India that aims to clean up and maintain the sanity of the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, urban and rural areas. The campaign was officially launched on 2 October [ on Gandhi’s birthday] 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has called the campaign Satyagraha se Swachhagrah in reference to Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha launched on 10 April 1917.
He also asked people to pledge ‘na main gandagikaroonga, na main gandagikarnedoonga’ (I shall not litter and won’t allow anyone to do so).
Gandhian philosophy on cleanliness that led to Swachh Bharat
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Sanitation is more important than independence”. He made cleanliness and sanitation an integral part of the Gandhian way of living. His dream was total sanitation for all. Cleanliness is most important for physical well-being and a healthy environment. It has a bearing on public and personal hygiene. Everyone needs to learn about cleanliness, hygiene, sanitation and the various diseases that are caused due to poor hygienic conditions. The habits learnt at a young age get embedded into one’s personality. Even if we inculcate certain habits like washing hands before meals, regular brushing of teeth, and bathing from a young age, we are not bothered about the cleanliness of public places.
Gandhiji dwelt on cleanliness and good habits and pointed out its close relationship to good health. Gandhi’s group launched a mass contact programme in the villages. “At the end of the morning’s march, a batch of men and women from his party visited the Harijan quarters of the village near the camp, taking with them brooms and spades. They talked about the “necessity of sanitation, about keeping their yards clean, of burying rubbish, instead of leaving it to blow here and there. While Gandhi was engaged in talks, people who had accompanied him would begin cleaning up the basti themselves. They highlighted the need to prevent excrement lying in the open, as it attracted flies and spread disease.
These historical references are enough to say, how much Gandhiji gave priority to cleanliness concept. SwachBharat is just an extension of what he preached and believed in very strongly. In short, we can say Swachh Bharat is a step towards the unfulfilled dream of Gandhiji.
Objectives of Swachh Bharat
The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use. The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), established by the UN in 2015. It is India’s largest cleanliness drive to date.
The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“gramin” or ‘rural’), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (‘urban’), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
Energy Efficient Buildings intensifying Swachh Bharat
Energy conservation is one of the key criteria of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. India now boasts of more than two thousand LEED-certified buildings.
There are several ways to be more energy efficient – Better insulation, more efficient windows, doors, and skylights, as well as high-efficiency air conditioners and furnaces, can all contribute to a more efficient home by keeping warm air inside or outside the home. As well, being able to properly regulate the temperature internally through the use of a thermostat is a major part of having an energy-efficient building, as having the right equipment is just as important as using it properly.
Energy-efficient building design involves constructing or upgrading buildings that can get the most work out of the energy that is supplied to them by taking steps to reduce energy loss, such as decreasing the loss of heat through the building envelope. Since energy efficiency is a big criterion for this mission, as on the ode of Gandhi’s birthday, we will analyse 5 most energy-efficient buildings in India.
The ITC Green Centre – Gurgaon
The project of the ITC Green Centre was conceived to be a symbol of ITC’s commitment for a greener future. It achieved a platinum LEED rating at a time when the LEED certification wasn’t even customized to the Indian conditions and priorities. A lot of effort, of course, went into realizing this dream and USGBC cooperated fully to help ITC in their endeavor.
Suzlon One Earth – Pune
Suzlon is India’s largest and one of the world’s biggest producers of “clean” wind energy. In keeping with their Green image they wanted to build a Head-Quarters (HQ) building that reflected their global and “Sustainable” status..It is also the only building in India with the highest ratings from LEED (Platinum rating with 57 points which it obtained in 2010) and GRIHA (Five Star rating with 96 points).
Olympia Tech Park- Chennai
This building is considered one of the largest green buildings in the world, having obtained the Gold Rating under the LEED CS category (an internationally recognized green building certification system for Core & Shell) by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
Besides the glazing at The Olympia Tech Park, other factors like water-saving features and construction materials, all add up to making this building energy-efficient.
Infinity Benchmark- Kolkata
Infinity Benchmark is a huge 20 storeyed, 71.64 metre high building covering a floor are 560,000 Square Feet. It offers infrastructural solutions to IT and ITES industries. Apart from the platinum LEED rating, Infinity Benchmark has won several national and international accolades for its green philosophy and innovations.
CRISIL House- Mumbai
CRISIL House Combines Environmentally Friendly and Employee-Friendly Features, Targets Platinum LEED Certification. CRISIL House is a state-of-the-art “green” building, designed to optimise consumption of scarce water and energy resources. CRISIL aims to obtain the highest LEED certification for the 211,000-square-foot building.
We have discussed only 5 energy-efficient buildings, there are several others [which we will be discuss in the second part] more and more are coming and preserving Swachh ideology. There are numerous ways to increase the energy efficiency of a building, and many different parts of a building that can be improved to boost this value.
Let’s encourage energy efficiency initiation and be a part of Gandhi’s unfulfilled dreams. Concluding with a quote from Gandhi- “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
Info and image– teri, green buildings india, accommodation times.com, nzeb.in, nirman.com, mkgandhi.org,energyeducation.ca, suzlon, olympia, enviscentre, mint,