Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I posted the on my company’s blog. Now, there is a reason behind this redundancy.

Read on:

We are all well educated

I know, I am whining again. You agree, don’t you? Look at our city. It rained this morning (18 November 2009) and I took an auto rickshaw to office. Why? There was red mud on the road which makes it impossible to walk. Why is there red mud on the road? Okay. Picture a bus yard. It has nice slabs or they have got gravel and used a bulldozer to make uniform surface. Now suddenly, someone comes up with the weirdest idea in the whole world. They decide to top this crushed gravel with red clay.
And one fine day, it rains. There goes your soil (mud), gravel and hence the parking lot. Now there is but a site filled with mud. And this mud comes on to the roads. The roads are carefully planned and made so as to last just one rain. They are made of gravel again and tar. One moderate rain and roads are supreme chaos. There is everything on the road. Gravel, bits of tar, mud specially manufactured by using red and black soil, discarded food, old clothes, human excreta, dogs and buffaloes feeding from overflowing trash bins , and of course, cars, bikes, pedestrians, jay walkers, people lying on the road, food hawkers, vegetable thele wallahs, flowers, temples, uprooted trees, what not! Traffic jam, auto wallahs demanding extra money (extra on the usual extra they ask), and me, musing when this will change. Then I enter Bagmane from the back gate. Again a site filled with mud (bus yard) and cigarette butts, paper tea cups, hand tissues, cigarette packets, polythene bags. And I get on the cement road and there comes a breeze. Along come dust and paper cups and I shield my face just in time with the dupatta. A colleague rightly pointed out. “What use is a ‘Go Green’ campaign without an attached ‘Go Clean’?” when I said, “why don’t you write about it?” she said, “Oh come on! We should have the energy and drive to educate people. How many people get the message when you write at some obscure spot?”

I wonder every minute what education really does to us!

Apart from the fact that someone rated it 1 on 5, which is really sad given that only three people actually voted, there was nothing outrageous. I mean, no one came to my desk with rotten eggs and tomatoes :)

However, I had this interesting conversation with a friend. He said “Interesting...there is lot of noise made around go-green but the infrastructure to sustain it is not present.”

Speaking of infrastructure, I am not quite sure what infrastructure we really need to stay clean. One might argue, like my friend did, that over flowing trash bins is an example. Had the BBMP been doing their job, trash bins wouldn’t be over flowing. Hold on to that thought.

Now picture this; after dinner every night, I don’t clean the dining table. Three days later, my table will be infested with all our pet flies and arthropods. Suppose I clean the table every day, my table will be forever clean.

Same thing applies to overflowing dust bins. Someone early morning spills half the trash around the bin instead of aiming for the bin. The next person doesn’t want to tread in other peoples waste. So, they dump all their waste around the bin. And a third person follows suite and a forth and a fifth. In no time half the road turns into a dumping ground. And the place stinks.

Mr.A is driving to office. He feels like a smoke because of the traffic jam or the work pressure at office or the disagreement he had with his wife last night. He opens the cigarette packet, pulls out the last cigarette and throws the pack at the signal on the road. That is not all. Good old Mr.A is done smoking. He has no time to stop. And of course, the car shouldn’t get dirty. So, he hurls the cigarette butt onto the poor road.

Mrs.M is going home after a long day at work. She walks home. She takes out an éclairs from her handbag and pops it into her mouth and promptly throws the paper down, on the road.

I know mothers who tell their children to go out and dirty the surroundings because they need their homes clean.

My friend is right. Let us not make noise. Let us be calm and think in harmony. Let us cultivate external hygiene. Let us teach children that the world is meant to be a safe and pleasant place for everybody.

Our city is as much our home as our two or three bed room flat.

Reference :Signs

Background picture courtesy: Sudeendra Chitta