Gandhiji’s Dream Of a Sustainable City

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A great leader and visionary, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a strong advocate of a self-sufficient and sustainable India. For India to become self-sufficient and sustainable, its cities have to become self-sufficient and sustainable first. On the occasion of his 146th birth anniversary, lets try and achieve Gandhiji’s dream of a sustainable city.

Gandhiji was a strong proponent of ‘swadeshi’ or home economy, be it food, clothing or anything else. During the British rule in India, he promoted the swadeshi idealism by making his own clothes and asking Indians to wear and use only Indian made products. Dandi March and the Charkha Movement are prime examples of Gandhiji’s principle of swadeshi. The government of India, under Shri Narendra Modi, has started a campaign called the Make in India campaign. This campaign follows the same blueprint of manufacturing in India.

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Faridabad is one of the biggest industrial cities in India. Thinking in line with the Swadeshi and the Make in India Campaign, Faridabad can truly become a smart industrial city as it has all the required infrastructure in place. The Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) strives to convert Faridabad into a smart, self-sufficient and sustainable city, which would serve as a major hub for companies making products in India.

‘Gram swaraj,’ which means village self-rule, was an important concept in Gandhiji’s thinking. In Gandhiji’s own words, the basic concept of gram swaraj is that every village should be “independent of its neighbours for its own vital wants and yet interdependent for many others in which dependency is necessary.” Each village should be basically self-reliant, making provision for all necessities of life – food, clothing, clean water, sanitation, housing, education and so on, including government and self-defence, all socially useful amenities required by a community. To develop a city, based on Gandhiji’s model of gram swaraj, the MCF is conducting a citywide survey to build a smart city for the Faridabadians, by the Faridabadians, based on the vision of Faridabadians.

Gandhiji had long foreseen the importance of self-sufficient and sustainable city. If we understand and implement these Gandhian thoughts, we can surely succeed in making Faridabad a self-sufficient and sustainable smart city.

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How To Make Faridabad A Smart Secure City

essayOver a tea party, a discussion was brewing up – Whether Faridabad is a good enough place to live in and whether it can be compared to any of the major metropolis of the world? My view on that discussion was simple and my answer to all my friends present at the tea party was YES! They all had a slight laugh and it was hurting me to see my fellow Faridabadians not believing in the prospect of a prosperous Faridabad.

I wondered why those people did not consider Faridabad a good enough city. As far as my knowledge, Faridabad has all the basic amenities and more to be called a global city. But there are still a few concerns that need to addressed before our beloved Faridabad can actually attain the status of a smart city.

Like any major smart city around the world, we need to be self sufficient, and provide every necessity to all it’s citizens. There are concerns such as security, transportation, energy resources, health care and many more that should be taken care off in order to truly achieve the dream of a prosperous Faridabad.

The most important of these concerns is security. If we are not secure about our well being, then how can we all think of the well being of others, let alone the well being of the city. The city should provide for better security to it’s citizens. We should feel safe enough to be able to walk home alone, no matter what time of the day it is.

  • One way to achieve this kind of security is to install security cameras all over the city, especially in areas that are known to be dubious. These cameras should be monitored 24*7.
  • Another way is to provide enough lighting, most probably solar lamps to light up all the streets and roads in Faridabad so as to discourage miscreants from doing anything unsocial.
  • We can also have neighborhood watch programs whereby we ask the citizens of Faridabad to act as the eyes and ears for the law enforcement agencies by reporting any untoward activity in and around their area.
  • Properly trained and better equipped   law enforcing personnel in order to enable them to deal with a variety of scenarios.
  • A regular workshop by law enforcement forces in various educational institutions to teach our young citizens about various laws in order to educate and deter these children from any kind of criminal activities. This should be done in localities where crime by children and juveniles are frequent.
  • Easy reporting of crime via a mobile app connecting the police and the citizens

These are some of the basic concerns that I think the city needs to focus on. They are like the basic platform from which we can launch our all out effort to make Faridabad a smart city.