Volunteers from the Isha Yoga Center joined the Clean India campaign on November 23, and dived headlong into mopping up the plastic in nearby villages.

Volunteers from the Isha Yoga Center joined the Clean India campaign on November 23, and dived headlong into mopping up the plastic in nearby villages. The cleaning will continue over the next few weeks in tandem with an awareness campaign.

Here’s a snapshot of volunteers’ experiences.

“There’s something deeply therapeutic about cleaning. For some strange reason, it leaves one feeling fresher and more enthused than before. In blatant defiance of the laws of thermodynamics, you end with more energy than when you started. I have a feeling that a large part of India has not figured this out yet. The Prime Minister’s initiative of “Clean India” is both timely and overdue.

Cleanliness and hygiene is something that we Isha volunteers have been striving to improve in rural India from day one. On November 23, a large group of us from the Isha Yoga Center set out to make a concerted effort in this direction. We arrived at the nearby Semmedu village equipped with trash bags, gloves, picking sticks, face masks and that typical Isha enthusiasm that the local people have now become familiar with.

It was a joy to work with the other volunteers, meticulously picking up bits of plastic – toffee wrappers, biscuit wrappers, torn-up polythene bags and discarded cigarette packs. The villagers looked at us in both amusement and awe as we combed their village streets, plucking stray pieces of trash from the street and placing them tidily in our trash bags.

In one case I saw a local villager about to throw away some used plastic cups on the streets. When she saw me carrying a trash bag, she came over and gently placed the trash in the bag. I feel that this is the best way of educating people about the value of cleanliness. Not in the classroom or in a book, nor by preaching to them or lecturing them – but by example.”

Another volunteer shares:

“On this occasion the Isha Yoga Center took on the effort to clean an area in a nearby village. A lot of waste like paper and plastic is lying along the roads of Gandhi Colony. Not only were we as a group of volunteers contributing to the cleaning process, as an individual, we were approaching it as a sadhana as well.

During cleaning I thought about what Sadhguru would have said: “Don’t pick a spot that you like or dislike, just give yourself totally”. And so it happened. There was a great sense of involvement among the participants as well as a joyful atmosphere. It was a privilege to contribute to a better environment and a ‘Clean India’!”

Editor’s Note: Watch Sadhguru talk on the Clean India campaign on NDTV.