We must stop saying the clichéd statement that our country is diverse, because there is one thing that keeps us united across the nation. It is the accumulated filth. And some of it dates back to the era we read about in stories and religious books.
The first and foremost step towards a cleaner India, is to make peeing in public punishable. We do not go to the living room corner and pee there because bathroom is ten seconds away, right? Similarly our surroundings are where we spend a majority of the time, so keeping it hygienic is equally important. We need more public toilets, and some discipline too. This is not impossible. Diapers are an option for adult babies who don’t understand discipline.
Secondly, we must learn through practice, to control the overwhelming urge to spit. We have a habit of chewing paan, or gum and dispose it wherever it seems convenient. I have also noticed that Indians produce the maximum saliva in the world and have the compulsive tendency to spit anything that can possibly come out of their mouths wherever they like. It could be a movie poster, a new car, or wherever it lands from the top of a building.
Thirdly, we must accumulate waste and dispose them at the nearest garbage bin. For example a simple road trip can generate garbage like tissue papers, disposable plates and glasses, tea bags, plastic wrappers, biscuit covers and the like. When travelling with babies there will be soiled diapers too. It takes little effort to combine these in a single plastic bag and dispose them at the nearest dustbin. Accumulate waste.Dispose at the right place. I swear this is easier than pulling down the window multiple times only to deposit the waste somewhere it should not be.
Fourthly, we all know our country has the most beautiful tourist locations. I am a normal citizen with a reasonable amount of patriotism and none of my ancestors have fought in the freedom struggle, yet I cry inside when I see some of the finest streams and architectural marvels infested with rodents and insects, because people enjoy throwing leftover food and plastic bags in these places . Of all the places I've visited, India has more pride worthy, breathtaking places (no kidding) but we don’t flaunt it enough because we all seem to be busy abusing it beyond repair. It is high time we keep our tourist spots clean and help the Government generate more revenue from tourism and stop bothering us.
Fifth and an important step towards our goal is a turnaround in terms of attitude. For example in the Middle Eastern countries, a third of the population are Indians. Believe it or not, here one can see Indians who actually know how to keep the city clean! The metro trains and public spaces are spotlessly maintained, they clean up after picnicking at the parks, follow the 'accumulate and dispose' commandment religiously, and even have their cars cleaned on a daily basis. The same people upon landing in India, throw their boarding passes on the roadside first thing after exiting the airport. They stick their gums at the back of the taxi seats. This is the worst kind of NRI hypocrisy. It should be given a name, considered as a sickness and treated through disciplinary action.
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It is our responsibility to keep the surroundings clean. Sadly, ‘they’ (whoever was supposed to come and clean up after us) are NOT coming. The #AbMontuBolega campaign, initiated by Strepsils is a strong reminder to that. We need to stand up, speak and practice cleanliness. Let’s START!