“One step towards cleanliness” with a half-clad Mahatma Gandhi is the poster that a class IX student of Vidya Bharti School, run by RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sansthan, paints. “Maro Bharat desh swachh ane sundar (My country India is clean and beautiful)” is the message that another student of the same school conveys through her poster as hundreds of students gather to draw posters with the messages of cleanliness, now intricately associated with Mahatma Gandhi.
There were images of men with shovel cleaning their societies with Gandhiji standing at the centre. A total 433 students of Vidya Bharti School were among over seven lakh students from primary to senior secondary schools in Vadodara district who participated in various programmes dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.
At the Vidya Bharti School, the morning prayer was dedicated to Gandhiji with his song, Vaishnao Jana Ko. sung in the assembly. This was followed by students offering flowers and garlands to a poster of Mahatma Gandhi, then standing in silence for two minutes. “The students carried out cleanliness of the campus, but there is not much to be done there as the campus is already quite clean, something that we have been emphasising on even before the cleanliness drive started,” said principal Rajendrasinh Rana.
District education officer N M Mehta said over 7 lakh students from both government, semi-government and private schools from class 1-XII participated in the programme. “There were drawing competition, 2-minute silence, followed by a pledge for cleanliness. All 7 lakh students from panchayat, government and private primary, secondary and senior secondary schools participated,” he said.