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Sluggish attitude of citizens towards cleaner India

Sluggish attitude of citizens towards cleaner India

By Anupreeta Chatterjee

People were seen throwing plastic cups and plates on the streets during Chhattisgarh Rajyotsava, observed on 1st November. It is quite ironical because they voluntarily signed an agreement to become responsible for keeping India clean. Some of them reported that they could not find the dustbin and even the stall managers did not care to put a dustbin. They found an excuse to be sluggish. Some people threw waste materials, used plates, and cups in front of the dustbin, kept on the other side of the road.

People's attitude

Some people reflected on the issue by stating, "hamara desh nahi badalne wala aur na hi logon ki soch itni jaldi badalegi" (Our country is not going to change and the thinking of people will not change). A 16 year old student mocked at our attitude towards cleanliness by saying, "Ye log bharat ko kya swachh banayenge inko to gandgi ki aadat si ho gai hai. Acha! Abhiyaan chal raha hai tabhi to itna pollution badh raha hai." Anoyther interesting thing that people said is that that even the domestic workers are refraining from cleaning and washing houses as they find the job denigrating and physically harassing. One of the domestic worker stated, " Mai jhaadu pocha nahi karungi. Koi aur kaam hai to bolo." It seems activities pertaining to cleanliness derogate the reputation and status among peers and other community members.

Cleanliness: Still not important

Towards the end of 2017, it seems that we have not realised the importance of having clean surroundings. We are not habituated to cleanliness and yet, we pretend to be change-makers. Are we really changing? We are restraining from actively participating in Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, which was launched on 2nd October, 2014. We can hear voices claiming that India needs to be more cleaner but it is ironical to see people not taking any form of initiative. We are not willing to sludge and we are not concerned about people who are cleaning our streets, drainage systems, etc. Undoubtedly, we have a system which is sluggish like us. Thus, urban planning departments must focus on implementing effective drainage systems, so that streets of Mumbai do not get flooded, and it does not affect the Indian economy adversely.

We can clearly state that we are disinterested in embracing positive changes. Even wider reach of SBA has not made any significant change in mindsets. People still openly defecate to show their manliness and it seems SBA is blasphemous. Also, it has only impacted media and ad films in a positive way. It is quite critical and hypocritical that we are unable to keep our surroundings clean and yet, we blame each other for not being enough responsible.

There is a need to understand the requirement of cohabitation for bringing a positive change. We need a 'clean minds campaign' too, so that we are able to contribute towards our desired outcomes without giving excuses for not being responsible enough.Towards the end of 2017, it seems that we have not realised the importance of having clean surroundings. We are not habituated to cleanliness and yet, we pretend to be change-makers. Are we really changing? We are restraining from actively participating in Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, which was launched on 2nd October, 2014.

We can hear voices claiming that India needs to be more cleaner but it is ironical to see people not taking any form of initiative. We are not willing to sludge and we are not concerned about people who are cleaning our streets, drainage systems, etc. Undoubtedly, we have a system which is sluggish like us. Thus, urban planning departments must focus on implementing effective drainage systems, so that streets of Mumbai do not get flooded, and it does not affect the Indian economy adversely.

(Anupreeta Chatterjee, a keen feminist poet from Chhattisgarh has pursued her post graduation in Women's Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad. Her poems have been published in Ink Drift, an International Magazine.)


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