Was India’s “Swachh Bharat” inspired by Umuganda?

We in India, and for sure people in different parts of the world, do have a great deal to learn from Rwanda’s resilience and great turn around in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Rwanda’s Umuganda could well have inspired India’s “Swachh Bharat” introduced by the current Indian Prime Minister.
Some Rwandan citizens construct a drainage system during a past Umuganda activity. (File)
Some Rwandan citizens construct a drainage system during a past Umuganda activity. (File)

Editor,

RE: Umuganda is essential to our development, Kagame says” (The New Times, November 1).

Over the weekend, President Paul Kagame remarked, “Today, Rwanda is proud to be known for its transformation”.

This “sustainable transformation” taking place in the country was evident at the recently concluded India-Africa Summit held in New Delhi where Indian business organizations, operating in Rwanda, actually referred to the enormous progress being made under the visionary guidance and astute leadership of President Paul Kagame.

We in India, and for sure people in different parts of the world, do have a great deal to learn from Rwanda’s resilience and great turn around in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda’s Umuganda could well have inspired India’s “Swachh Bharat” introduced by the current Indian Prime Minister.

(Swachh Bharat is a national campaign by the Government of India—covering 4041 statutory towns—to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country. The campaign was officially launched on October 2, 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself cleaned the road.)

However, this initiative does call for an ongoing focus and determination to make it productive and to produce the desired results, as is evident with the Umuganda programme in this beautiful land of a thousand hills and a million smiles.

Clarence  Fernandes

 

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