Saturday, November 29, 2014

What is needed to clean India?

Cleaning your house is easy. Well, not really. You probably outsource that to a bai. What happens when she doesn’t come? You either wield the broom yourself,  grumbling all the time, or you resign yourself to a dirty house for a day.

Sare Jahan se Acha- par Swacha?
Let’s extrapolate this to India’s situation. That’s our home too, right? Those countless Hindi film patriotic songs, that we hum come every Independence Day? There are no bias to clean India. We have to at least take care that we don’t dirty it, even if we don’t clean it.

Would you clean up after others?
I remember reading a Reader’s Digest article when I was a kid, about a man in Bangalore who would sweep the footpaths outside his house.  If we have a problem picking up after other people, at least we should not be one of those people.

Why aren’t we clean?
So let’s examine why people don’t think it necessary to keep India clean. What’s one more wrapper? What difference will one person being conscious of not littering make?

Court to the rescue
Just read that the Delhi High Court is pulling up municipality workers for not keeping the city clean. It is taking the KITA or Kick in the Ass approach. If they can’t keep the city clean, they should be fired.

The judiciary has always been one of the hands on arms of the government. Seen as impartial, it is perceived as an organ that gets work done, rather than dither due to political motivations.

So, if this judgment catches on, it can have far reaching implications. It can set a precedent. Other cities can follow suit. Accountability is key. As it rightly points out, if there is a cleaner appointed for each area, then why is the city dirty? By demanding details of the area cleaned, work will get done.

We who work know that the only way to get work done is to keep following up with the person concerned. Naturally the worker will have to work if he has to give details of the work done.

India Inc is cleaner
Cleaners in the private sector clean all the time. It would be great if we also had workers round the clock for this.

Swach Bharat Abhiyan is catching on
What seems different about Swach Bharat Abhiyan is that it has captured the imagination of the people. From school children to celebrities to courts, everyone is pitching in. So, we might very well see a clean India.

That would be great! We can finally then tell snooty foreigners who whine about India being dirty to take a walk. Literally. And those Indians who go abroad and then turn up their noses when they come back home? Them too.

So let's speak up like Montu, of Strepsils. It's a pretty cool campaign to make people think and share about this issue. #AbMontuBolega #AbSabBolenge #AbSabKarenge

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