Friday, July 10, 2009

A little more awareness...

Every morning sharp at 7:15 I bid goodbye to my parents and start my 15 minute walk from my home in Kalyanagar to Nagarbhavi circle. It's not one of those workout kinda walking, it's a normal paced walk to catch bus to ITPB. This article is all about my observation during this 15 minutes of lonesome and peaceful walk and few thoughts that it kindled in me.

That time of the day is an idyllic one with pleasant weather and lesser crowd on streets. I see ladies watering their courtyards and portion of the road right in front of their homes, some of them raking off the dust and withered leaves, some of them gracing their courtyards by joining the dots to form Rangoli, some of them buying milk from the vendors, some of them making fire to heat water for bathing and some of them leading their kids to school.

I also see few fitness freaks returning home in their tees, trackpants and sneakers, few aged men glancing newspapers basking in the mild sunlight, few men invovled in profound political discussions sipping their hot teas and smoking their first cigarettes in the corner hotel, few fathers helping their kids to mount on the motorcycle to drop them to schools, few vegetable vendors repetitively shouting the undecipherable phrase and few pet lovers protecting their leashed dogs from the stray dogs' menace.

What inspires me to goto work every morning are the bunch of trash collectors from BBMP, totally engaged in collecting trash bags from each house and dumping in their mobile bins. Ladies dressed in red shirts over their sarees go to every home and collect the garbage bags placed on the compounds or near the gates. Their efforts are highly commendable...just picture yourself waking up early in the morning and collecting the smelly crap from all the houses in the area...a terrible bread-and-butter inevitability.

I pass through these hard working trash collectors and hit Nagarbhavi main road and I need to walk 5 more minutes to reach Nagarbhavi circle. This 5 minutes stretch is something I hate to walk. Despite all the efforts of the cleaners, I see lumps of dog shit every few steps, I see torn ghutka covers and disgusting used sanitary pads on road, I see stray dogs dragging the crap from collected bins to road, I see priest throwing off the stale flowers on pavement, I see an auto driver expectorating a big ugly yellow splash in the middle of the road, I see a rotten chunk of meat next to butcher shop veiled by flies and I smell the most unpleasant stench of an overspill trash truck.

Ministers sometime ago talked about turning Bangalore into Singapore, but we still lack infrastructure as basic as dust bins in the city. Most times I eat the apple and keep wondering where to trash the central seedy part...am left with no option but to throw it roadside somewhere. The same is the case with ghutka eaters, cigarette smokers, pop-corn lovers, bottled water drinkers, gum chewers and many others who produce one or the other kind of waste. Bangalore seriously lacks dustbins...we need them...like in thousands and thousands. But that isn't gonna solve the problem completely...I've seen those gigantic old cement dustbins perpetually overflowing...ragpickers digging it out and stray dogs binging on the rotten waste and spreading it all over. We need smaller dustbins every 200 meters or so, which needs regular emptying. Most of all a little more awareness is needed among us...the trash generators. Otherwise even with ample dustbins people would throw their trash out of dustbins and dirty the entire surrounding. Unless we get enlightened about trash disposal, I see no point in we griping about the crap we see on the road. The bigger problem is how to educate the mass, but before we educate we need to install the dustbins at right places.

With so many interwoven problems, the best thing for an individual to do so is not to throw the trash on road and to spread the word. So next time you have trash in your hand...put it in a plastic bag and hold on to it until you find dustbin and trash it there. Let's keep our city clean...it may be nowhere close to Singapore...but atleast we can make an attempt to take it closer.
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