Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trash talking...

I always thought that quite a lot of places in India are quite simply dirty- and that the streets contain people in a hurry without taking into account the mess they end up making; the hasty techie who has a quick bhel at the roadside chaat stand and throws down the piece of paper that served as its container or some other ‘aam aadmi’(Common man- a term that has become very popular with the ruling Congress party) who chews ‘paan’(betelnut in Hindi) and ends up projecting red sputum, left, right and centre, like water sprinklers. It’s not just the cities, but also many rural areas that have a whole host of trash related problems –Cows, bottles, putrefying vegetable matter, gutters; you name it, at least one Indian town’s got it. I am not trying to “dis” India or anything like that, but the fact remains that trash is a major problem in India, for all its goodness and beauty. Try sitting down on Chowpatty beach in Mumbai or even swim there( Some brave souls do!). It makes me sad when I see a non native sitting on their heels, their puce coloured face contorted as if they have come out of a hovel containing rat turds or something – it’s not right.

I don’t think that any legislation will help- there is a legislation banning smoking in public. I find lots of people smoking in public; bus depot, train stations, amusement parks. Implementation is the key- and therein lies the problem. Nobody cares- not even those who enforce the law. It all depends on mentality and also a sense of community helps. We DO have a sense of community; but most of the times it is for the wrong reason. Just a little quirk from "me" to "we", will do the trick.

Maybe it has begun-


  1. @ Narayanan

    Hilarious post for an outsider, but the freaking truth is exposed. Anyway, nobody in one of the costliest cities in the world is going to voice the concern about this where millions are churned out in Stock exchanges and in businesses. There is a interesting caption for Mumbai "city never sleeps". The green peace organisation must take note of this and atleast project india as a responsible nation for public mannerisms in the eyes of foreigners who in large number visit these type of important cities.

  2. @Narayan I like style of writing man! U have a good mix of humor and subject. Regards to Mumbai city or any city in India, cleaniness is obviously a problem. Let see how our public service will device an efficient method to pursue clean and green city until now I haven't seen any innovative policy approach in any Indian city.

  3. @karthic - No I don't think the municipal corporation will do anything major about it- Some fellows have started giving slum tours for the foreigners; it's become that bad now! And these slum tours of the "Real" India have also featured in that Ariel ad. Not good form at all! Yeah, Greenpeace ought to do something about it!

    @sat - Thanks a lot man! Let's take stock- even if we do have a decent trash collection/street cleaning system, I don't think they can do a job 24/7. If they clean the streets in the morning, then probably by the afternoon, it will returned to its original state. The point is that the people have to change- Take a look at Kasauli in Himachal and one more city in Tamil Nadu, whose name I forget...

  4. There are several areas in our administration system that need serious looking into. Lets assume law enforcement at the ground level is "reformed" and all offenders are booked by police personnel. The judiciary is so hopelessly run that it ll be years before all these cases come up for even the first hearing. There are more than a crore cases pending before Indian courts I read somewhere. In such a state of affairs, why do we still have "vacation" for courts? Yes, there is some summer/winter vacation - something left over from the colonial era.