My Clean School

My Clean School (MCS) creates opportunities for students to build on and expand beyond the solid academic foundation developed at school. It encourages young people to think creatively, take initiative and to inspire others which takes their skills to another more practical and community-minded level. It therefore helps makes them more employable and a greater asset in the adult world they are entering.

While cleanliness (of environment, self and mind) is an outcome, it is being in action (in the spirit of My Clean) which empowers the individual especially through interaction with members of the community.

So symbolically, while the school takes care of one side of the hand (scholastics), My Clean School takes care of the other (leadership in the community), and by that, strengthens the whole individual.

Scholastics side.

Who you are being.

Making a whole, empowered person.

The key features of My Clean School are:

  • The young people able to choose (with adult support and guidance) what action to take and then own the outcomes of their initiatives.

  •  Practice Appreciative Inquiry: looking at what is working and then building on that. One could say, the spirit of My Clean discovers seeds and nurtures them. A key feature is therefore the acknowledgment of others, including businesses making a contribution to a cleaner environment.

  • Practice Progressive Inquiry: also looking at what is not working, what it could look like and what action steps would achieve that.

  • My Clean produces outcomes in shifting the collective consciousness with benefits such as:

    • High profile media coverage of sponsors.

    • Employers rewarded with more employable young people – confident, creative, self-starters.

    • The environment becoming cleaner in a sustainable way.

    • The building of community spirit.


See also

Resource for letters to schools

The essence of My Clean School

My Clean School is premised on United Nations Agenda 21 Ch 25 promotes the youth’s active participation in the environment
  • Opportunity for students to participate in the community and to extend themselves (inc. Leadership).   To apply their acquired academic skill and above all, to own the outcome.  

  • An independent voice. The outcome of My Clean School endeavours, including the essay competition, can represent an opportunity for the citizens to hear what is working and opportunities for extending that (in other words, to stop pointing fingers at the problems and deficiencies for other to fix but instead to create a pathway for action by all).

The general banner is “Prosperity and Beauty through Community”

The bottom line is that the students are motivated, see something in it for themselves, are satisfied and ideally, see their visions being applied. It is time for the community to take charge of which the schools can be a driving force. Not to clean, not to finger point to problems, but to build on the good things as well.



PowerPoint presentations (BUT WITHOUT ANIMATIONS & VIDEOS)

My Clean School - Hindi version
My Clean School - English

Education generates awareness of the rights and obligations of an individual towards him and the society, it creates self confidence, self-respect, improves opportunities and quality of life in general. Exploitation of the youth is minimized or eliminated.

Important is the process of Progressive Inquiry and Appreciative Inquiry (Appreciative Inquiry is a strategy for purposeful change that identifies the best of "what is" to pursue dreams and possibilities of "what could be." It is a co-operative search for the strengths, passions and life-giving forces that are found within every system—those factors that hold the potential for inspired, positive change.)

In action.

Suresh Mathur, a former Dubai college principal managed the 4th October Ajmer event in the spirit of My Clean. Suresh may be contacted by email where xxx=suresh1.

Click image to download PDF version of MyCleanSchool

Enrolment form only

Also Hindi notes

What is My Clean School?

  • Broadly, My Clean School (MCS) is a network to promote leadership and community activities where there is ownership over the outcome of initiatives that contribute to improve the environment.

  • It promotes partnerships which empower young people through information exchange and action to develop leadership skills.

  • Other activities include conferences, seminars and community activities.

My Clean School is a network of schools that promotes opportunities for students to practice being inspirational citizens and to extend their academic skills. My Clean School operates within My Clean (country eg.

Promotes community interaction.
Under the unifying theme of My Clean School, students can interact with their community and apply their skills to influence the community’s attitude and management of the environment. Students are inspired to be in action voluntarily and rewarded for their initiatives.

Leadership opportunity.
In promoting their community and the people in their lives, students have an opportunity to learn and practice leadership, extend their academic skills and their personal empowerment by creating awareness, sharing insights and inspiring others into action.

Simple steps
This document provide some simple steps for each school to take without distracting students from their important education- creating more employable young people who are satisfied with their education. There are international precedents where like in Australia students are required to undertake compulsory community service to graduate from high school. My Clean School is self motivated and has already contributed to shifting community attitudes. My Clean School is working towards the United Charter 25.1 and promotes the process of Appreciative Inquiry.

What can the schools do?

The schools can be inspired to undertake a broad range of activities including ranging from finding the Cleanest Street (for sponsored award), surveys of issues including community attitude, media releases; promoting agreements, progress reports, and occasional activities such as….

    • To be community champions with marches, posters, media releases, debates and essays on issues of concern to the community.
    • To be a voice and monitor of the progress of the community in creating a prosperous and beautiful community.
    • Encourage participation in the annual Clean Up (your town) event. That can include targeting areas for cleaning up, to assume responsibility for promoting cleanliness in assigned areas.

MCS supports the process of Appreciative Inquiry as a strategy for purposeful change that identifies the best of "what is" to pursue dreams and possibilities of "what could be." It is a co-operative search for the strengths, passions and life-giving forces that are found within every system—those factors that hold the potential for inspired, positive change).

The students are encouraged to take the initiative but some activities that could be undertaken include:


    • Interschool poster competition and their public display with sponsorship;
    • Essay or poetry competition (inc. as a complement to the poster competition)
    • Design and public display of banners.
    • Collection and disposal of rubbish as part of Clean Up the World (see appendix).
    • Planting of trees.

Community interaction

    • Surveys of community-identified issues and proposed solutions.
    • Create and have community sign agreements and oaths to keep an area clean.
    • Awareness building eg about better sanitation and clean water..
    • Street marshals to take responsibility for on-going cleanliness and reporting.
    • Finding the Cleanest Street of 200x awards (with sponsorship for prizes).
    • Acknowledgement Certificates for people that make a difference.
    • Promoting the sponsorship of litter bins.
    • Preparation of media releases based on activities such as surveys.

Each school by practicing the principles of My Clean, within their schoolgrounds will be a model for the community. A source of inspiration of what is possible and students who are empowered to be more employable and capable.

Appendices (2) for Facilitators follows

Appendix I –Clean Up the World day

Clean Up (your town) Day – a special September event

An opportunity that is both easy to begin and effective in creating community awareness is the annual Clean Up celebration day held in September such as Clean Up Agra Day as part of My Clean India.

Each year, on the third weekend of September, some 120 countries participate in the Clean Up the World ( event. This is an opportunity to participate as Clean Up Xxxx Day (where Xxxx is the name of the city, town or village). It is an opportunity to recognise people that take action and make a difference to "cleanliness" in the community. It is the act of recognition that not only rewards those that ‘made a difference’, but to inspire others to do likewise. It is an especially effective opportunity for creating community spirit.

For 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 significant transformation, arguably a Tipping Point[2]. Schools in Nainital contributed posters, essays, and participated in enrolling the community. They 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 wrote to a newspaper saying,

"…. there has been tremendous progress in Nainital".

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 and produces results. 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 and look for more ideas.

First Steps in starting a Program

Step 1- region representative

Each town or city identifies a My Clean School Facilitator who reports to the My Clean India network.

Step 2. schools nominate representative

To create a schools network by inviting each school to nominate a schools representative that will contribute to a My Clean School (town/city) Committee to coordinate the program. This may be a teacher and optionally a senior student

Step 3 – assignment of responsibilities

Each committee member to be assigned responsibilities that includes:

    • Region management
    • Schools coordination
    • Promotion and media communications
    • Sponsorship and donations
    • Government agency coordination (eg traffic control, nagar palika)
    • Finance management
    • Materials acquisition
    • Printing
    • Waste management
    • Health and Safety
    • Publication development (oaths, agreements, surveys)
    • Photography and video
    • Post event report preparation
    • Student support (analysis)

Step 4- school team development

Each school will have its My Clean School coordinator and create its own teams of student leaders as appropriate to their role. For students it will represent an opportunity for practicing planning.

Appendix II – Other activities for the Schools

The schools and colleges represent the movers and shakers of tomorrow. School assemblies can be addressed to encourage their participation who are keen to hear from MCS especially about opportunities for community interaction, leadership development and applied scholarship. The schools can do much to promote awareness and do it creatively, high profile with media coverage.

Each participating school, can be a model for their community in practising cleanliness.

Remember all you are doing is facilitating an opportunity for the schools. The My Clean India banner is a convenient universally acceptable unifying statement that can be used with other banners.

A few basic things can be readily initiated with the help of the municipality, administration and existing groups and community including:

  • 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.

Media coverage

Providing reports on schools activities including surveys, analysis, students in action can be very effective and a way to acknowledge and inspire the students.

Publicly acknowledging people who make a difference to the community creates awareness and inspires others into action. Taking every opportunity, including in conversations, is a key activity of MCS. MCS uses the website ( and media contacts to promote and advance people who make a difference to inspire others into action.

Communicating with the students (for Facilitators)

MCI 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 and try and be as casual and 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 exam results or graduation certificate.

A key communication to students should be that MCS represents an opportunity for developing community and leadership skills which would empower them to take decisions for their future and also make them more employable.

Topics that could be discussed could include opportunities for interaction with the community (eg. surveys, agreements and other initiatives). One can suggest that surveys and other initiatives represent opportunities to demonstrate that the students are concerned members of the community. A well constructed schools survey allows for the community to promote the problems and their perception of the solutions through the students.

The students being in action 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 and the students have analysed. The consequent media coverage is also important as it acknowledges and provides incentives for the students and the community.
  • The schools being in action can contribute to a "Tipping Point" in their city/town.[2]   

So having shared what MCS is about, consider obtaining a vocal and hands-up agreement at the conclusion of the communication to begin action as inspired leaders in the community.

Their immediate steps could be modifying their behaviour, promoting awareness and action in others, and taking whatever steps to promote general cleanliness.

A schools leader should be appointed to represent MCS.

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. Creating space for the community to be inspired into action.


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 and took action. 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. And again, because MCI is about creating community spirit and opportunities for creating leadership, this is also an important focus.


You are joining 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.

My Clean is self funding and not-for-profit so it relies on sponsors and donors. There are many opportunities including prizes for the schools competitions (posters, essays etc) and for the high profile Clean Up the World event in September ("Clean Up Xxxx Day").

Possible sponsors include;

  • Waste management and environmental businesses and organisations.
  • Associations such as hotels and restaurants, industry, merchants; and
  • Anyone who would like to be seen as a good community citizen.

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.

What else you can say in talks about My Clean? (for Facilitators)

The objective is to inspire and motivate others by creating visions that are sufficiently broad to enable others to take action as appropriate for them. This means not being too attached to your own ideas (especially your own fix-it ‘plan’) as the solution must be theirs. In creating a solution they will feel they own it and will take responsibility for their initiative. Accept that solutions generally come from the people themselves when they can see the broader vision such as Prosperity and Beauty through Community. My Clean is a program of community self-empowerment (ie. of leadership, taking action, inspiring others, doing things one wouldn’t normally do etc). Self empowerment overcomes the consequence of growing affluence which conditions us to look to others for solutions to problems. Affluence serves to disempower the community.

Broadly My Clean is about creating visions like creating ‘space’ or opportunities for others to take action according to their needs.

MCS presents an opportunity for people of all ages to come together; to not look to the administration or the ‘oldies’ to do it, but to achieve results for themselves and in a satisfying way.

The trend in society is to be pragmatic (ie. tied to our existing experience) and by that, society is disempowered. Through My Clean, the community can make a stand to show it believes Gandhi had right the idea when he said, "Be the change you want to see in the world". In other words, "just do it!"

Reflect on a speech made by Nelson Mandela referring to "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure." We are all ‘Mandela’s.

Downloadable (Windows Media file of ca. 30 Mbytes) - right click to download.

Script of narration - click to download MS Word version.

MCI essay competition.....................

What your city/town (eg.Agra) could look like in 2012 and what is necessary to make that happen?


One of the prizes awarded by Emerald Publishers of Chennai and Roz Townsend of Australia.

Click to see full size.

Some models for consideration (eg. Australia)

In Australia, students cannot graduate from highschool without having done 20 hours of community service. Some structural initiatives are referenced below.

My Clean School is proudly associated with Himwats Savidya .

This NGO aims at alleviating the poverty, the backwardness and the miseries of people from Uttarakhand villages by providing financial help and impetus to the poor children in the area, to avail the advantages of formal Primary education and Vocational Training.

The basic idea behind the NGO is that the education is a critical requisite and a primary weapon for overall economic and social developments of an individual (and hence of society, along with natural incentive for the population control in India).

Background document

Hindi notes

PEAS is a nationwide network of school children committed to building an awareness that will lead to protecting the environment. Believing in the fact that children can make a difference, PEAS is engaged in numerous activities for an awareness as well as action programme


Agra My Clean poster display

Nainital posters