On October 2nd, `Gandhi Jayanti’ day, the school and organized a `Cleanliness campaign.’ Many children voluntarily participated in the campaign to clean the compound, clean classrooms and every nook and corner of the school especially, as prizes were to be announced for the best classroom and for the best group. Some did the sweeping, some cleaned the fans, and others wiped the windows. There was an excitement all round and the children were busy working in groups.
Some children of the higher classes stayed away from the leaning work. They told their teachers: `Our servants do this kind of work at home. When sweepers and pens are there, why we should do this work?’ some of the teachers got angry and complained to the school supervisor. The school supervisor was a mature and experienced teacher, who was kind but firm.
She explained to the children that Mahatma Gandhi himself took the broom and cleaned the villages, when he went there. He did not feel that he was too great to do any work. Baba Amte worked with the lepers. Mother Teresa personally fed the sick, cleaned their wounds and nursed them with love and compassion. Then she told children, `No work should be considered as low.’ The teachers again told them how some parents proudly say that they never allow their children to clean, sweep and mop the floor and that they do not even allow them to bring things from the market. The teacher pointed out that this approach was not correct and that there was nothing to be ashamed of, in doing such work.
The children, who were initially unwilling to work, now took active part as they understood the value of labor and the virtue of working together.
The cleanliness campaign was a success and all the teachers and pupils were happy and satisfied for participating in the cleaning operations. Thus they had reaffirmed their belief in the dignity of labor.