Clean Gaya Project
IIPM’s Rural service Wing has cleaned up parts of Gaya’s (a city in Bihar visited by Hindu pilgrims from all over eastern India, specially West Bengal and Bangladesh) streets which, till a point of time, were among the dirtiest in the country.Dr. Chaudhuri had to visit Gaya thrice to perform religious rites between 1969 and 1999. During his visits, he used to stay in Bharat Sebashram Sangha. In every visit he never failed to notice how dirty the path from Bharat Sebashram Sangha to the railway station was. It overflowed with all kinds of rubbish. Two thirds of the street was covered with waste. It stank. The street that led to Vishnu Mandir was equally dirty. He promised himself that he would arrange to clean streets of Gaya, along with his people, if given an opportunity. Finally in 1998, four years after the foundation of Aurobindo Chaudhuri Memorial Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Kendra, Dr.Chaudhuri sent a batch of young volunteers from Midnapore to Gaya with the objective to clean up the two streets that he had seen left dirty for almost thirty years from 1969 to 1999. He contacted Dilip Maharaj of Bharat Sebashram Sangha and sought his help for these volunteers who would clean up not only the streets but also the drains on both sides of the streets. These drains had not been properly cleaned for more than fifty years. The volunteers cleaned them. Gum boots were provided by the local branch of Bata Shoe Company. The State Bank of India provided a tractor to remove the rubbish from the street and slush from the drain. Swami Haripadananda Maharaj led the volunteers.
The Aurobindo Chaudhuri Memorial Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Kendra is continuing to finance the Clean Gaya Project. This institution is happy to have proved that streets can be cleaned even when paid, unionized municipal sweepers fail to do so, if NGOs (Non Government Organizations) take up the work. In fact, we should do away with the necessity of employing sweepers who engaged throughout their lives with other jobs. The work of cleaning up streets can be done by student volunteers, who have passed their school leaving examinations. They may be awarded with financial help to pursue college studies after a year’s voluntary work. This may also help to breaking caste barriers to an extent.