Lesson 9: Cleanliness

In a village there were three best friends – Sam, Khursheed and Sahil. They studied in the same school. All three were good in their studies. They liked their school because it was the place where they all met. They never missed school and kept it clean by using dustbins and not drawing on any surfaces.

Once, Sahil did not come to school for five days. Khursheed and Sam were worried so they decided to visit Sahil. They were shocked to see where he lived! It was very filthy. There was stagnant water on the roads where they saw mosquitoes breeding. Waste was thrown all around. When they reached Sahil’s house they saw that he was down with very high fever!

His mother told them that Sahil had malaria. She was sobbing. Sahil looked very pale and tired as malaria affects the liver and blood cells. He could hardly talk. The children knew that malaria is a disease that is spread by mosquitoes. The next day the friends told their classmates about Sahil. They decided to do something for their friend. So, they made up their minds to clean the place during the weekend.

Students gathered in the street and divided themselves into small groups and started cleaning the place. They swept the roads, collected the waste and threw it in dustbins. They also cleaned the stagnant water by using nets and by spraying kerosene on it. Thus the mosquitoes became fewer. They encouraged people to use mosquito repellents. The intense cleaning effort was an eye opener for the people staying in the neighborhood.

The school children continued their cleaning project every week. The colony slowly started participating in the cleaning spree. All were happy and the place became clean and sanitary. More people wanted to clean their streets too. Hence, small groups were formed and more places were cleaned. After this, very few people fell sick.

The principal appreciated the children in the assembly. The district collector applauded the children for making the people aware. The cleaning effort of the village was shown on TV. Slowly, a small effort that started in a small village spread to the whole country and became a national movement. Finally, even the President declared that Our India is a Clean India.


“A” is an indefinite article; as in, “I want an apple.”
“The” is a definite article; as in, “I want the red apple.”

I saw a girl (any girl).
I saw the girl in a school uniform (a particular girl).

Mrs.Chatterjee is a teacher.
I went to meet the English teacher.

When do you use ‘a’ and when do you use ‘an’?

We use ‘an’ when the word that follows begins with a vowel (a-e-i-o-u)

I saw a crow.
I saw an owl.

Please make sentences with: eye, apple, elephant, orange and umbrella following the indefinite article.

When ‘h’ is silent it is preceded by an ‘an.’
Examples: an honest boy or she came an hour late.

When ‘h’ is sounded, it is preceded by an ‘a’.
Examples: a hotel or a herb garden.