TOWARDS A CLEANER INDIA
Keeping the beauty of India intact begins from us.
“No innovation in the past 200 years has done more to save lives and improve health than the sanitation revolution triggered by invention of the toilet. But it did not go far enough. It only reached one-third of the world.”
~Sylvia Mathews Burwell
A country like India, which boasts multiple culture, different languages and worthy traditions makes us proud and we will be happy to call it our nation. Of course, India is a beautiful nation, but as its citizens, have we tried to keep its beauty intact?
I think most of us will answer NO.
In school, we have been taught the same taglines since young: cleanliness is next to godliness. How many of us follow them now?
Also, in Tamil literatures, there is a significant importance is given to sanitation and cleanliness. Father of our Nation… had accentuated the worth of sanitation.
And all the religions stress the importance of keeping the place we live in, as well as ourselves clean.
With the progress of human civilization, cleanliness took a major portion towards designing a society and culture. Indian country, with its proud culture is considered to be one of the dirtiest countries in the world. Who did we have to blame for that?
Me. You. Us.
The authentic beauty of the Indian nation… its gorgeous atmosphere… we, as its citizens, as its children, have to take care of it, but in reality, we are the ones who destroys its beauty. We are the one who dirtied our mother!
Haven’t we all went Aww over the beautiful structures, pristine beaches and spotless roads while we travelled to foreign countries? Who is the reason for keeping them untainted and unsoiled? Don’t rush to answer ‘the Government.’ Not exactly. It is the individuals, who take responsibility for their every action. They think twice before throwing the wrappers away. Think twice before crushing the plastic water bottle and discarding it in whatever place available.
The reason why India is dirty and acquired a spot on the dirtiest countries in the world is its irresponsible citizens. No use in blaming the Government, not really.
Because… change starts from me!
In our life, in many instances, we have been negligent and done things we probably shouldn’t have. At times, we used the same excuse for our mistakes: Everyone is doing the same. It doesn’t make any difference if I didn’t do it.
But… it makes a difference, for cleanliness starts from me. From my home. From my surrounding.
Using Trashcan is not that difficult, is it?! At times, when I walk along the road, I often cross the huge dump, which people use as a replacement trashcan, even though the garbage truck will come to each house at least thrice a week. In my hometown, there is a huge bin just opposite to my house, but… instead of using the dumps, people will throw the garbage outside it. So what is the reason for these dumps? Is it the thought that ‘as long as my house is clean and hygienic, it is fine’ or is it simply because we don’t care about the surroundings we live in?
Some people feel lazy to walk another ten meters and instead, just use their targeting skills, which is non-existent to throw the garbage bags. And they never reach the proper place. My mom always get into fight with the ladies around, just because of this.
“Isn’t there a dump? Why don’t you throw it inside.”
“Mind your own business.” The response would be offhanded.
“Yeah, I can mind my business, but since you are throwing it in front of my house, how do you suppose I live inside?”
The war would be endless, but at the end, they would continue to do that.
How can we put a full-stop to such actions? If we think for a while, we would never do things like this again.
Will I be okay if someone littered my home with rotten fruit skins, remains of egg-shells etc.? Will I be? If people start to think like that… I am sure they will never chuck it anywhere they please.
Keeping public places clean!
“Throw your empty popcorn tub in the trash and the entire cinema will be clean for the next patrons.”
― Malti Bhojwani
At the parks and gardens, there are many trash cans all around, but no one cares enough to walk a short distance to discard the popcorn cup or the ice-cream wrapper. They will just throw it around. What will we lose if we walks one more meter to throw the waste wrappers inside the garbage bin?
I had once been such a person, who offhandedly comments what difference will I make if I didn’t throw the wrappers in the dustbin? My sister, though, had taught me a valuable lesson, by her actions.
Every time we eat outside, she would, either find the garbage bin, or use her own bag to keep the empty packets, so that she can throw it later.
“Hey… if you throw it away, it is okay. Look, it is already full of empty wraps.” I had once said.
“So? You want me to contribute towards dirtying the place? This is how it starts. The first person who threw the wrapper might have been a lazy bum who just didn’t care, but the next one and the next one… they would have thought just like you. ‘Yes, it is already dirty. What would happen with one more?’ And now look at this… they have created a new garbage dump in this beautiful place. I would never do something like that.”
Thanks to her, I never thought like that again.
Spitting Slobs. Don’t you hate them? Most of the time, when I walk along the road, I have to keep my eyes alert and on the ground to avoid stepping over the spit and tobacco remains. Have you seen those people who chew tobacco, Paan etc., and then spit it across the road or a wall, without caring who got dribbled with their saliva? I have met some and I’d this urge to smack them across their face… but what to do, I have never had the nerve to do so.
Only in India, can we find the spit stains and dark red blemishes of paan on the board that says ‘Don’t spit here.’ Should I laugh or cry? Spitters, will you spit the red lump across your own walls? If not… why do you spit it on someone else’s? Next time you have the urge to spit… spit it inside your own packet, or carry a bag along with you for this purpose. Pretty please…
Roads or public toilets? The most important thing and the most infuriating thing that leads to the unhygienic atmosphere… is the people who take open space as their private lavatory. The first act we have to pass is to forbid these type of people, who doesn’t care about hygiene and just use the roadside as the lavatory. Come on… relieve yourself before leaving home. If it is that urgent, find a mall or a public toilet. I understand… public toilets are unhygienic, but after you take a piss, the roadside become just as unhygienic, as well.
Making a beautiful home for our children is also our obligation. To safeguard and protect India so that it can become a safe and secure haven for our future generation is a must. We must teach our little ones about the importance of keeping the country clean and inculcate in them the habit of NOT throwing wrappers, peels around, even from the young age.
Maybe one day… India will become cleaner. There is still hope for that.
Clean up a pigsty,” she commented one evening, “and if the creatures in it still have pig-minds and pig-desires, soon it will be the same old pigsty again.”
― Catherine Marshall, Christy
Don’t be a pig-minded person and dirty the place you live. Bring back the beauty of India. It is in all our hands and let us work together with the Indian Government to make India sanitary and unsullied. #Banega Swachh India.
* RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) has partnered with NDTV and Facebook to launch “Dettol – Banega Swachh India” – a 5 year ambitious program to address the rising need of hygiene and sanitation in India. The campaign will aim at creating awareness about the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and also work with NGO partners to support infrastructure for construction and maintenance of toilets. RB India has committed to spend a sum of Rs.100 crores towards this program over a period of the next 5 years.
We need to act and set examples and not just keep talking about the issue #swachhindia.
– Amitabh Bachchan, Campaign Ambassador
For more info on the campaign, visit Swachh India