No matter where we live in India, it is not unusual to find garbage littered in streets and piled up at every corner. The misery is alleviated with dogs and scavengers hovering over the piles of refuse to make their own select ion. In smaller villages and towns the overflowing drains and refuse attract, pigs and stray animals which mar the beauty of the place. The problem gets compounded as there are no toilets and people deface in the open which leaves the place filled with stench. Khushwant Singh the eminent writer, once on return from a trip abroad wrote in his column’ With malice towards one and all’ that the moment his taxi moved out of the Mumbai International Airport, he was greeted with the familiar sight of scores of people defacing in open. He remarked’ at last I am home’!“Civilisation is the distance that man has placed between himself and his own excreta.”
Cleanliness not only improves the quality of surroundings and makes them more pleasant, but helps in attaining efficiencies also. The rising private airlines’ Indigo’ is known for its ‘on time flights’ and insists all passengers to pass on the trash to the onboard flight attendants , before they disembark to ensure no time is lost in the cleaning the aircraft when it lands at next destination.Our rivers like Ganga and Yamuna have become so polluted that the water in plains is considered unfit to drink or take bath in! The constant inlet of streams of polluting industrial wastes, city garbage and other pollutants have deprived them of existence of marine life. This is a stark contrast to cities like Stockholm, Paris and most other places where one can see fishing enthusiasts looking for trout or salmon right in the city center by the riverbed!
While most of us who live in decent dwellings, do our utmost to keep the house and the garden clean but when it comes to maintaining the same level of cleanliness at public roads and parks we often forget this! It is not uncommon to see people throwing the used cans or wrappers straight out of the window of a car or carelessly tossing it on the roadside! The manners we learnt at home and school to keep the environment clean are easily forgotten! How can a handful of sweepers keep the big city clean if we do not throw the garbage in the assigned bins! This results in choking the drains during the monsoon months, and overflowing roads resulting in traffic jams!In the Singapore Night Safari the otters have been trained to demonstrate how to put the trash in the right bins so that people can learn from animals an important message of how to recycle the trash(Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tLBD69N3UQ)
In early 1970’s the ‘Chipko Andolan’( Hugging the trees) was set into motion in the Garwahl hills to protect the trees from felling! Today we can see the disastrous results of rampant deforestation in form of repetitive landslides in Uttrakhand and floods in J& K leading to huge loss of life and property. Only if we had not been greedy to cut trees indiscriminately and littered the hills with plastics , we could have avoided these tragedies!
Time is running out and the new leadership has once again brought the need to keep the keep our surroundings clean in the initiative of ‘Swach Bharat’ to keep our surroundings clean! We should help in this endeavor as ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ and it is our duty to leave the mother earth intact for the future generations to see its beauty forever! We can do our bit by not littering the streets and request others if we see them doing so to make a ‘Clean and Green India’
PS:1. This post is my contribution to Clean India Campaign of IndianTopBlogs. (http://www.indiantopblogs.com/2014/10/diwali-and-clean-india.html )2. Image and link kind courtesy Google and You Tube