Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Great Indian Litterbug

The Indian Pledge:

India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters.
I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage.
I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
I shall give respect to my parents, teachers and all elders and treat everyone with courtesy.
To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion. In their well-being and prosperity alone lies my happiness.

Hold it right there. Something does not feel right about our pledge. What rich and varied heritage? The holy ganga river where recently human bodies that people cremate were found? Strive to be worthy of it, by dumping thrash all over as if "baap ka road hai?".

Today if someone finds a currency note lying around, he will excitedly run to go pick it up and pocket it, even if it is slightly dirty. But doing the same thing to pick up thrash and put it in a dustbin? No chance!

And if you ask people who can't they put litter in dustbins, one common answer will be, there was no dustbin around, or else, what does it matter to you? It's true that situation is so pathetic that there are actually cases of dustbins being stolen.

Take a look at this image taken at Kharghar station, Navi Mumbai; where the dustbin had to be locked and tied to a chain!

Image Source: @tania_rana 's tweet.

I once asked this young educated guy at VT station when he dumped his chips wrapper on the tracks that why did he do so. His reply was "you can pick it up and throw it if you want." And I thought the issue was only with uneducated people.

We hate our country for its corruption, pollution, population. But we are the ones who are making it that way, no? First litter around and that pinch nose while walking due to stench.

Does anyone remember and recall this nursery rhyme we learnt as kids?

Bits of paper,
Bits of paper;
Lying on the floor,
Lying on the floor;

Makes the place untidy,
Makes the place untidy;
Pick them up,
Pick them up.

What went wrong when we grew up? Isn't it something as simple as that? When I use "we" I don't mean myself, who will keep wrappers and litter in bag/purse/hand till a dustbin is found. But I use "we" representing the aam aadmi.

The recently popular "Swacch Bharat" campaign by Modiji, our PM has seen some change. *Insert applause*. But one funny anecdote. People were cleaning and sweeping in my neighborhood. What they were doing was just hiding the thrash below cars parked. Later when the cars went away one by one, you could see piles of thrash throughout the stretch, definitely not a funny scene,

I won't even talk a lot about the state of local trains in Mumbai, I could write a complete blog only on that. But gutka/paan stains, using the compartments as their personal loo's by drug junkies, and what not makes it probably the most unhygienic means of public transport.

I think, the best way to solve this litter issue is to see to it that there is a minister visiting that city or town frequently. After all, when there are higher authority people visiting, roads are always clean.

Image Source : Dainik Bhaskar

Disclaimer: This blog is a part of #TheGreatIndianLitterbug.

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