Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Cleaner India

Image source: Indiblogger

If you have been on a long train journey across India, you would be familiar with the sights in rural villages. I did take one such journey many years back and the some of the scenes were so vivid that I still remember it with shocking clarity. However, it is sad a state of affairs to notice that things have not improved much since. 

Maybe the story is a little different in cities. But if I were to visit a public toilet, I would still think twice. Yes, the condition of toilets in bus stops, train stations and other common places where the masses frequent are still in a very sorry state. I'm talking about the ladies toilet here, as I know there are a lot of men who prefer the open air to do their business. 

It's humiliating that in a country like India which protests against public displays of affection, relieving your body of its needs in an open space is considered perfectly normal. Bus stops have an overpowering stink attached to them in my memory. Isn't it high time that we did something about our country?

Another memory that is lodged in my mind is a famous beach which I visited many years back. Rotten oranges, pen caps, food waste and other unmentionables were found floating around in the murky waters of what would otherwise have been a nice beach. Tourist spots are often found to be in a sad state in India. 

What is shocking is that in other countries, tourist spots are often the most cleanliest of places. Yes, because their citizens and Government both work hand in hand to ensure that tourists are tempted to visit these place over and again. Maybe we can take a page out of their book when it comes to our tourist spots and country in general. I'm not claiming that all the countries are following this approach but the ones that do, always seem to be prospering in their tourist revenue and also in ensuring that people do not wrinkle their noses or turn their faces while visiting. 

Disposing of waste right on road sides despite there being a waste bin is another problem that's common nowadays. Even while travelling, it's a common sight to see paper cups, plastic bottles, used tissue paper and other waste being trashed outside right through the windows. I have even seen cigarette butts disposed of the same way, which is not only littering the environment, but also harmful to the other vehicles and passengers travelling on the same road. 

But what can we do to help? Cleanliness, I believe, starts right from our home. Think twice before you dispose of waste outside. Is this how we would behave where we in the proximity and comfort of our homes? Isn't our country too our first home? Yes, there are always going to be people who mock what you believe in, but it is time to rise above all those taunts. 

Raise your voice. Don't be a silent spectator. There's a voice inside all of us, one that belongs to a clear conscience. Let the voice be heard. It's true that while you may not be able to bring about a drastic change in a short time, it's always those little steps the beginning of a revolution. 

I applaud this initiative taken up by Strepsils in promoting a neater and cleaner India for all of us. #AbMontuBolega is a campaign that encourages us to listen to the Montu in all of us. And not just listen, but to act on it as well. Learn to say when to say NO. Let's join hands and work towards a Swach Bharat. 

Recycle waste where ever possible. Say NO to plastic. There are a lot of biodegradable substitutes that are available in the market, use them instead. Do not litter when there surely is a waste bin nearby. Yes, maybe that's what everyone around you is doing but you have a choice. A choice to make a difference. A choice to make India, a cleaner one. 

Join Strepsils on for their noble cause. Follow them Facebook and Twitter to show your support for the #AbMontuBolega campaign.

This post is written for Indiblogger in association with Strepsils #AbMontuBolega


  1. I agree with you...there is no bus stop with that stink. I hope this initiative tastes success and let everyone be dutiful in keeping our country clean.

    1. It is a horror when you have to visit such places. We can hope that things will change in the near future.

  2. Thought provoking post, Aathira. As you said, these little steps are the beginning of a big revolution. By following no littering policy we can bring the change at least bit by bit. Hopefully our kids get to live and see a cleaner nation. :)

  3. You are right, Aathira. It must start with us, our home, our work place and our neighborhood. And we Must Raise our voice if others are not doing what they are supposed to do. No more indifference to what is happening around us. Only then can Swatcha Bharat be a reality.


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