Wednesday, 21 January 2015

India's Litter-acy

We Indians are litterbugs, really. Inherently unhygienic. We spit, we throw our waste carelessly.  It seems we have all pledged to do that! We are like garbage trucks, throwing our wastes around and ironically more under the signs that say 'DONT!'

Because, public toilets stink, Indian men pee proudly under the blue sky. A classical example of Chutzpah!

We Indians like to see pan stained walls, overflowing dustbins, public defecation, dirt, garbage and filth on the street! We paint our town, but unfortunately with these things! Clean walls are endangered in India!

We mindlessly toss empty packets of chips, polythene bags, food containers on the street, beaches, etc. Such a  disregard for one’s own country! We see many dead flowers touching our feet on beaches. We Indians are bound by religion, so much so that by citing religious rituals as justification, we throw garlands, flowers, etc. making the beach dirty. Even well-dressed people spit bubblegum from their costly cars, wherever they deem fit.   

It's easy to make a mess when you're not the one who has to clean it up. As incomes rise and snacks, potato crisps, gutka become more widely available and affordable, the country is getting messier! The attitude within each one of us is: “So long as my house is clean, I really don’t care about the surrounding!” This has laid the foundation for our country to be deemed as 'unhygienic' by many other countries. Strewn garbage definitely has a negative impact on foreigners.

The lack of cleanliness in India hits anywhere you place your eye — hotels, hospitals, households, work places, railway trains, airplanes, temples. Piled up garbage, overflowing sewage and foul-smelling environs are common in India.

There are mad people roaming around dirtying walls of Mumbai local trains pronouncing their love for a girl! As if all other ways to approach a girl have been done with! This not only shows lack of cleanliness but also lack of respect for women in India.

It is the need of the hour that we practise Cleanliness in real sense! From used condoms to used sanitary pads lying on the roads, we Indians have lost sanity over sanitation!

Everyone loves to be remembered, we Indians have chosen to leave our marks on this land in the form of pan spits or defecation so that all can smell our essence.

Today, we  have  an electronic  umwelt, where history is replaced with movies, education is replaced with entertainment and nature is replaced with technology. We don't care if our surrounding is unclean.

This year, Gandhi Jayanthi was observed with a mission called Swatchh Bharat (Clean India Campaign) by PM Narendra Modi. The PM exhorted the Indians to devote two hours every week for cleaning their surroundings.

Self thinking is hard. So we blind follow - 'Herd' mentality! Be it Swachh Bharat Campaign or anything else; unless we don't believe in it, we should not blindly follow it. Don't make the broom just a style statement for clicking a selfie.

Public cleanliness is the need of the hour. Litter is a growing concern which hinders the quality of the environment and also the global image of Indian society as a whole.

By littering, we are breaking the spine of our own country. Cleanliness & self discipline cannot be taught. Cleanliness is a state of mind. But keeping our dirty mindsets in picture, this will have to be forced upon! To revolutionize this initiative by TOI, I suggest public shaming campaigns against people urinating/defecating in public. People should be deployed on the streets and in public places. Anyone caught littering should be issued a penalty. The use of plastic bags should be banned too.

We need to keep a tight vigil on littering. We need to realize this at a personal level, the sooner, the better. Glad that TOI is up with this initiative campaign called 'The Great Indian Litterbug'!

P.S: This post is for Happy Hours - IndiChange.
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  1. Totally agree with your thoughts, Aayesha.
    That cartoon is so true. People litter away to glory & then complain how dirty India is! They are to be blamed!
    Hope we all practise good habits & change attitudes to maintain the India of our dreams.

    1. Glad to be on the same wavelength as you, Anita :)
      Hope so too and I pray that people in India leave behind the 'herd mentality'!

  2. It starts with us. If people follow the herd mentality, then let us form a herd who are very clean and promote the same in public. None the less, I appreciate your observations :) Keep writing :)

    1. Haha. Exactly if you want to follow herd mentality, be a good herd of people! :P

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