How can MCI help you?

CONTINUED...

Broadly, MCI encourages people to take personal responsibility and by that, ways to keep their environment clean and green. This action is not just for less litter and rubbish, as MCI also stands for cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner soil, and even a cleaner mind and relationships. We know that cleanliness in all its forms is associated with prosperity.

Simply put MCI acknowledges those that contribute. There are people all around doing things and enrolling others, and we want to recognise them. They will inspire others.

Cities, towns and villages in India are joining MCI to help to bring people together who are willing to make a difference. It’s difficult to do it alone but when you link together with a common passion, you can become powerful.  We can partner with you to advance your community and people in your life and, as you will read, we are about leadership and personal empowerment.

MCI will partner with you to create awareness, share insights and, by that, to inspire others into action.

MCI can assist you in many ways:

  • Provide you with resources such as ribbons, fliers, posters, manuals and artwork to promote the activities of MCI.         

  • Provide a platform for different communities to share experiences.          

  • Publicly acknowledge people who take action in the spirit of the Aims of MCI         

  • Train and skill people with tools to enrol others into action.         

  • Promote ideas and opportunities to inspire others into action.         

  • Provide basic material for articles and write ups which you can modify and distribute to local media.         

  • Provide you with personalised visiting cards and stationery.

What you can do...

1.   With your community you can ……

         Enrol community leaders, passionate friends and people to join in participation in the annual international Clean Up celebration event in September.

         Encourage everyone you meet to wear the green My Clean India ribbon.[1]

         Hold community meetings and share the MCI PowerPoint presentation notes (printouts or live), distribute membership forms, fliers, your business card. Alert to website, international links and achievements to date or just talk to inspire others.

         Leave fliers and posters (with your MCI introduction card) at relevant places.

 

2.   With the schools, colleges and universities to promote MCI as a pathway to evolve leadership skills and community interaction and by that make the students more employable. With projects, surveys, and other forms of community interaction, skills for their students.

Some things you can do include to:

         Promote poster and essay competitions on topics related to the environment with prizes.

         Encourage surveys in their community and find out what are key issues and solutions. This is a very powerful opportunity for the students to interact with the community, for the community to get a sense that someone is taking an interest, and when they offer solutions to problems, by that for the community to take possession of the issues.

         Encourage their participation in the annual Clean Up event and targeting areas for cleaning up, to assume responsibility for promoting cleanliness in assigned areas.

Sponsorship and donations.

MCI is self funding and not-for-profit.

Opportunities for sponsorship could include prizes for the schools competitions (posters, essays etc) and for the high profile Clean Up the World event in September (“Clean Up Xxxx Day”) (see later).

Possible sponsors could include;

         Waste management and environmental businesses and organisations and offer to help promote them through MCI.

         Associations such as hotels and restaurants, industry, merchants; and

         Anyone who would like to be seen as a good corporate citizen.

Clean Up Xxxx Day – a special September event

The single most effective opportunity to create awareness that is easy to begin and is very effective is the annual Clean Up celebration day held in September.

Each year, on the third weekend of September, some 120 countries participate in the Clean Up the World (www.cleanuptheworld.org) event. This is your opportunity to participate as Clean Up Xxxx Day (where Xxxx is the name of your city, town or village). It is an opportunity for recognising people that take action and make a difference to “cleanliness” in your community. Broadly it is the act of doing and recognition that;

·         rewards those that ‘made a difference; and

·         inspires others to do likewise.

It is an especially effective opportunity to create a sense that everyone can make a difference and by that reinforce a sense of community that is long lasting.

EXAMPLE: In Nainital, a hill station in Uttarakhand in 2007 at least one-tenth of the population directly participated in CUND2007 (Clean Up Nainital Day) and the whole town was made aware through enthusiastic media interest. From that single day, many initiatives were begun, including a solid waste management scheme that is today seen as the beginning of a transformation, arguably a Tipping Point[2]. Schools in Nainital contributed posters, essays, and participated in enrolling the community. They also conducted surveys and circulated oaths and agreements to keep the area clean and the town and its civil employees participated in the cleaning process. One resident said, “…. there has been tremendous progress in Nainital”.

So what exactly can you do and how can you begin? This is a special opportunity, and a few basic things can be initiated with the help of the municipality, administration and existing groups and community. Regular events include;

         Professional cleaning up. The event is called a Clean-up day and so special effort could be made for regular cleaners of your community to take on a higher profile on the day. Perhaps they could be offered additional resources and wear special clothing to mark the event. This alone will make it newsworthy and the administration will be seen as a supportive partner for the day.

         Volunteer cleaning. Consider the opportunity for volunteer associations and groups. There is My Clean India and Clean Up the World artwork available that could be used on litter bags and even on banners. These bags could be distributed to volunteer groups and encouraged to participate (and of course recognised by MCI). Special T-shirts, caps, fliers could be distributed on the day with help of sponsors and donors.

The schools and colleges represent the movers and shakers of tomorrow. School assemblies can be addressed to encourage their participation who are very keen to hear from MCI especially with opportunities for community interaction, leadership development and scholarship on a hands-on basis. The schools can do a huge amount to promote awareness and do it on creative, high profile basis which of course attracts the media.

Everyone, including the schools could be inspired to undertake;

         A poster competition on some particular theme relating to the environment;

         An essay or poetry competition. Perhaps as a complement to the poster competition.

         Surveys of community-identified issues and proposed solutions.[1]

         Create and obtain Agreements to keep your area clean to be signed by community groups.

         Promote the taking of Oaths (sankalps) by community groups.

         Design and use of banners.

         Street marches.

         Public awareness engagement opportunities.[2]

         Follow-up surveys.

         Street marshals to take responsibility for on-going cleanliness and reporting.

         Cleanest Street of 200x awards (with sponsorship).

         Acknowledgement certificates for people that make a difference.

         Sponsorship of litter bins.

         Planting of trees.

         Collection and disposal of water bottles/rubbish.

         Information/education about better sanitation and clean water.

Remember all you are doing is facilitating an opportunity for them. The My Clean India banner is a convenient universally acceptable unifying statement.

On the day, a central area could be set aside for public acknowledgements, for displays (including the posters) and may be preceded by a march which ends there. It is an opportunity for making a public statement and showing the community including the Nagar Palika at work. It is simply a day of celebration, awareness, commitment, acknowledgement and creating a sense of empowerment of the individual as a member of a community which cares.

It is your day however you wish to shape it, to promote a community awareness and agreement to improve cleanliness. We recommend that you join the international Clean Up the World network at www.cleanuptheworld.org and look for more ideas.

What are some other things you can do?

·         Encourage media coverage

Write letters to the editors of various newspapers. Write articles for papers and other magazines. All school magazines and house magazines of various industrial houses may welcome MCI coverage – particularly if the writer is involved with that organisation.

·         Acknowledgement

Publicly acknowledging people who make a difference to the community creates awareness and inspires others into action. Taking every opportunity to acknowledge people in action is a key activity of MCI. MCI uses its website (www.mycleanindia.com ) and media contacts to promote and advance people who make a difference so as to inspire others into action.

Other things you can do

cund (13).jpgMCI is about communicating to inspire so obviously it takes every opportunity to address public venues, events and especially school and other assemblies. The core topics such as how MCI works as described here can be conveyed to the schools (but do always be as engaging as possible – consider having a spontaneous ‘conversation’ more than a speech). Reflect on how you would have felt at their age listening to someone from My Clean India so acknowledge them for being progressive that ‘education’ is more than what ends up graded in the annual report or directly in a graduation certificate.  So a key communication could be that MCI represents an opportunity for developing community and leadership skills and by that to be more employable.

Topics that could be discussed could include opportunities for interaction with the community (eg. surveys, agreements and other initiatives). Suggest that surveys and other initiatives represent opportunities to demonstrate that the students are interested in them as a community. And, a well constructed survey allows for the community to promote the problems and their perception of the solutions. So doing it provides for;

         Learning about student and community interaction,

         An opportunity for the student to learn what the community is concerned about and their solutions,

         Compiled as a report, the community are more likely to take ownership of the survey as being ‘theirs’.

         The report represents a media release where the community has spoken.

         The schools can by their action could contribute to promoting  a “Tipping Point” in their city/town.[2]   

So having shared what MCI is about, consider obtaining a vocal and hands-in-air agreement at the conclusion to begin today to take action based on being inspired to be leaders in the community. Their immediate steps could be simply modifying your own behaviour, promoting it in others, taking whatever steps to promote cleanliness. Encourage the formation of a leader to represent MCI.

Media releases should be considered in terms of engaging the people and not just informing about MCI. Reflect on what you write in terms of creating space for action and acknowledging those that do. Write from enrolment (not from convincing them) – in other words, inspire rather than request or cajole. In other words, create a vision for them to be inspired and by that for them to be motivated into action.

Sustainability

Obviously we all want outcomes that are sustainable to produce lasting results. The annual celebration in September will require resources and some time in preparation. The experience of Clean Up Nainital Day (CUND2007), in Nainital held Sept 2007, created a shift in attitude and commitment by the administration as the event showed that the community actually cared. In no time a new solid waste management program, litter fines and lake-marshals were introduced and more is happening triggered by that one event that showed the community cared. Your town, city or region will have its own priorities and particular needs but we know that the annual Clean Up celebration has benefits greater than the cost and effort. Sponsorship core to MCI funding, also serves to help create sustainability by extending the network or interested people and organisations.

Acknowledgement.

You are with a pan-India network that facilitates the achievement of the ambitions of others and acknowledges those that take action. Acknowledgement represents a key activity for MCI and it goes out of its way to salute those that take action, partly as a reward but also to inspire others. The website, media, events, prizes and awards are just a few opportunities available with the logo/banner of My Clean India and especially at the annual Clean Up celebration in September.

Sponsorship (and donations)

Under the MCI logo, it will be easier to raise sponsorship funds. Donors too are more likely to come forward as they achieve visibility in association with MCI activities. With a little creativity, there are many opportunities for sponsorship such as litter bins, caps, T shirts, fliers etc. Define what you need, reflect on where that will appear to the public and reflect on how a potential sponsors would like to be seen.

Basically we believe in accountability and self management. While funding from government and institutions is welcomed, it is not a primary pursuit as we believe that if MCI is to be truly effective, then donations and sponsorship will be attracted and readily provided. Harder to obtain, such funding expands the MCI network and by that too, public awareness of the mission of MCI. That said Central Office may release funds to help fledgling activities and provide services to help you. We believe that working on the ‘knife edge’ will keep us fit and responsive and a vital integrated member of the community.

The MCI Society

MCI is simply a network of committed people and groups but obviously needs a permanent core represented by a not-for-profit association (non-government association, NGO) which too comprises of people with a common ideal and vision. There is a Central Office that manages the funds and resources with state and town offices called Regional Units (RU’s) operating as a not-for-profit business system. Outside of its management, MCI is simply people who operate in the spirit of MCI, with integrity, transparency and in some way enhancing the “cleanliness” and beauty of the environment and by that, empowering people.


[1] The ribbon can be cheaply printed with details on the MCI website. Contact Dr Prashant Natu if required.

[2] Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell Published Little Brown and Company 2000. Small events can “tip’ (ie. shift) a status including in awareness, crime, economic well-being, product sales etc. A notable event in New York in the 1980s resulted in a major :clean-up of the subways with spill over benefits including in crime reduction and social conditions. MCI could become a “Tipping Point” event for India.

[1] By the community identifying them promotes ownership and, compiled and interpreted, thereby media worthy.

[2] One example was in Nainital where cars were stopped on entering the town precincts and asked to exchange plastic bags for paper ones. This proved highly successful.

[2] Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell Published Little Brown and Company 2000. Small events can “tip’ (ie. shift) a status including in awareness, crime, economic well-being, product sales etc. A notable event in New York in the 1980s resulted in a major :clean-up of the subways with spill over benefits including in crime reduction and social conditions. MCI could become a “Tipping Point” event for India.

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi