Swachh Bharat has a got a
friend in Japan. Or should we say Maruti Suzuki? Swachh, which means ‘clean’ in
Hindi language, has just got the right boost from a Japanese word ‘Mottainai’ which
means “Do not Waste”. In order to tackle
the ills of growing urbanisation like improper dumping of garbage, polluting of
sewage systems, open defecation, burning of hazardous materials and vegetation,
India’s leading car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki is adopting a Japanese way of
cleaning India, along with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The aim of this initiative by
Maruti Suzuki is to drive behavioural change among people, especially children.
So the company, along with JICA is supporting storytelling sessions based on
“Mottainai Grandma”, a successful picture book published by Kodansha, a leading
publication from Japan. Understanding the need of Indian demographics, the book
is adapted in Hindi and English in collaboration with National Book Trust
The story telling caravan has
been initiated by Kodansha with the objective of promoting ‘Clean India’
mission by creating environmental awareness among the students. School
children, between 9-12 years, will take part in the activity and learn the
values of cleanliness, use of resources and consciousness towards environment.
The inaugural session was conducted at Girls Govt. Primary School, Kasan, in
Manesar, supported by Maruti Suzuki.
A caravan, a Maruti Suzuki
Super Carry, loaded with over 300 books will accompany the story telling troop
as a mobile library. The troop will visit 30 schools in Delhi, Gurugram and
Manesar. These include six schools supported by Maruti Suzuki.
Ajay Tomer, Executive
Director, Corporate Planning, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, said “Mottainai is a
thoughtful Japanese word which means “Do not Waste!” It is a word of compassion
and love, for nature and its bounty. We are happy that JICA has taken this
initiative to educate students on environment consciousness. The interactive
method reinforces the age old practice of storytelling in India. With Mottainai
Grandma, these students will retain the lessons for life. We are confident that
this activity will strengthen our community development projects by driving behavioural
change and contribute to Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission.”
Maruti Suzuki has been working
in the area of school education for over nine years under its Community
Development initiative. The Company strives to increase enrollment, enhance
retention and improve learning levels in adopted Government schools in
communities around their manufacturing facilities.
The Initiative will be
conducted in 4 phases, through a project methodology based on verification of a
Kubo Eiji, Director, Private
Sector Partnership Division and Finance Dept, JICA, said “It is an honor to
have Maruti Suzuki as a partner in this initiative and we commend Maruti Suzuki
for having led social innovation in many ways in India. Among many things,
Japan promotes the culture of cleanliness and respect for natural resources
which aligns with the concept of ‘Mottainai’ - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle plus
Respect are perhaps the most important values that Japan continues to
contribute to the rest of the world. The literal meaning of word ‘Mottainai’ is
‘Do not waste’ which is part of everyone’s life in Japan. We hope this
initiative would impact the mind-set of the Indian people and contribute to the
Government of India’s ‘Clean India’ mission.”
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