Thursday, October 2, 2014

Clean India - Begin India

Our Prime Minister kick started the 'Clean India' campaign today. And there are no marks, for knowing, that India is not one of the cleanest places in the world, walking on the roads one can find heaps of garbage, litter here and there, public places and toilets stink. To a lot of people throwing garbage on the roadside, spitting or urinating in public places does not seem like a wrong thing at all. People are ok walking past stink, they are fine with dumping religious offerings and Idols in already filthy rivers and water bodies.
            So, the campaign is not just needed but also a welcome attempt to bring a change in the apathetic attitude that citizens have developed towards cleanliness, hygiene and toilet manners.
               And so it came as a shock to me, when I looked at my twitter TL, and found it full of tweets which were sarcastic, cynical and mocking and it was the same story on electronic media. Some were skeptical whether it would work at all, because Indian mentality is so prone to be unclean. Others were skeptical that it may just end up as another fad. Most terming the campaign as a political gimmick to gather votes. And maybe it is really, a political gimmick. Not a campaign with best of planning, but still it is there to knock us up and out our shells of apathy, to begin doing our bit. But is it not more telling on us as people than the Prime Minister and his politics when all we can see is cynicism in this scheme?

Criticising, scoffing, being sarcastic, being cynical that things won't work. That is easy. But standing up for things, that is tough.
                                                  Being indifferent. That is easy. Taking action that is tough and that is why we shrug it off and wait for the next person to do it for us.
                                                  We wait for someone to come and clean up after us. We wait for the next person to remain clean. We will forever keep blaming that government has not provided enough infrastructure to keep cities clean. We will forever keep blaming others that our country, our neighbourhood is not clean, While we keep sitting in our homes, drive around in fancy cars, debate and discuss in our fancy English about the merits and short comings of this campaign on TV and amongst ourselves. But will we ever drop our cynicism to Act? To take onus of our responsibility by doing our bit?

                                             Next time, instead of scoffing, criticising or being indifferent. Act.

If you find someone spitting in public. Stop them. Involve people around you to stop them. And if you find someone stopping people, help them.

If you find someone throwing litter in public stop them. Tell them to take it home and throw it in their dustbin. And do the same yourself. There won't be a need to clean garbage when it is not lying where it should not be.

If you find someone peeing in public, stop them. Ask them how they would feel if someone did the same In front of their house.

If you find the person before you forgot to flush and leave the toilet seat clean. Tell them so.

If you can't find a dustbin around your locality, go buy one and contribute to the society. The RWA's can take initiative and collect contributions to set up dust-bins around their societies.

Recycle whatever you can, search ideas on Internet. Reuse Garbage, Reduce Garbage.

There are so many puja pandals that are made every years with expenses ranging in Crores, requiring lot of permits from MCD. Why not give half that money to Sulabh for toilets? Or to MCD to build toilets and better garbage disposal system?

And Government should come up with better garbage collection and disposal chain. It should provide health protection gears to all the workers involved in this work. It should begin working on constructing not just public toilets, but maintaing them.

These are just few things that do not involve government, they can be done simply by us. There are maybe thousand other suggestions and initiatives which each one of us can come up with, if we leave out our cynicism and decide to do something about the problem. But for that we first have to acknowledge that problem exists. Which is what this campaign is about, it is about changing our attitude from,  It is ok to be surrounded with filth because this is India to It is a problem and it is no longer acceptable in India, and by us by virtue of being Indians, because it is our home.

It is time to put down your excuses, and do whatever you can to do your bit for a Clean India except cribbing.


Suz said...

oh my why wouldn't someone care for the place where they live?
this is hard to understand
but I pray that the campaign is successful...people will feel so much happier and healthier

Relyn Lawson said...

It's easier to be snarky that to get up off your fanny and get to work. Don't you think? Maybe that's what is going on. Maybe?

Relyn Lawson said...

I miss you, friend. I hope all is well.