Mottainai Concept and Swachch Bharat Mission

The Swachch Bharat Mission of India aims to improve sanitation and hygiene. It also looks for effective solid waste management. The behavioural change is the key driver for the Swacch Bharat initiative for attaining its objectives.

Mottainai is a Japanese concept which conveys regrets over the waste. In Japan, children are taught to eat every last grain of rice in their bowl, because even a single grain is too precious to be wasted, given the energy and resources invested in producing it. This attitude is deeply rooted into the ancient Japanese belief of Shintoism, which says that God is everywhere in nature, including the trees, mountains, and rice fields.

Cherishing the “mottainai” spirit, Japan has cultivated a culture that follows the 3Rs: reduce (garbage), reuse, and recycle. This Mottainai concept can aid in achieving the objectives of Swacch Bharat Mission by:

  • Segregation of garbage at source: The segregation of garbage at source will aid the authorities in better management of the solid waste especially in urban areas. One practical example of the 3Rs is the segregation of garbage.
  • People involvement: Mottainai aids the people driven approach in management of cleanliness. Increased peoples participation will be huge plus for the Swacch Bharath initiative.
  • Responsible consumption: The 3Rs promote responsible consumption practices. These practices aid in better environmental management contributing towards Swacch Bharath.
  • Waste management: One of the strategies for an efficient waste management is creation of a commercial significance for efficient disposals of the waste. Emphasis on recycle and reuse will create a commercial value for the wastes generated.

3Rs of reduce; recycle and reuse can be of great aid for India in addressing the structural and behavioral defects in the arena of waste management.

As such, Japanese people perceive nature to be sacred. This sense of reverence towards nature is also shared by the Indian people. Concept of Mottainai can be of great help for India in the Swacch Bharath initiative. [Reference]


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