Adi's Journal

Pieces of my thourhgs

Clean will win

Whenever we take a step outside of our home for work or to socialize, we are in for an obstacle race with heaps of garbage while we walk around. This is the scene in and around every Indian city to a bigger or a smaller extent. However, I had witnessed the two ends of the cleanliness spectrum in a place which is divided only by a boundary wall. I was visiting the amazing country of Bhutan. When you enter Bhutan by road through West Bengal, Jaigaon is the last town on Indian side. 

The feelings which overwhelm me when I take this name are of shame and disgust. Jaigaon lives on, in and around hills of waste. Heaps of plastic, paper, vegetable waste and what not are laying around at almost every metre of all roads. It was monsoon when we drove through the place. Mud and muck only added to this misery. However, as soon as you turn and cross the border gate, into Phuntsholing, you are hit by a 180 degree contrast to this situation. Roads are spotless, air is fresh, vehicles stop for pedestrians who are crossing only over zebra crossings. It’s just a perfect picture.

Why now? 

If we consider the current situation, this habit of cleanliness comes out as a very important point to focus on. Spread of COVID-19 is not directly related to this particular waste situation. However, it still puts us at risk of all the other illnesses as immunity is already gone for the toss. Fortunately, there is no other outbreak of other communicable diseases during this pandemic. When everyone thinks of the word environment, they can only imagine lush green forests, clean air and flowing clean streams. When we abuse these lush greens, flowing freshness and lively blues, our next generations are at risk. However, if we ignore what is in and around our neighbourhoods, roads etc., we are at far greater risk of losing the agencies to work, produce and enjoy life.

Cleanliness is the key

Social hygiene is the basic reason behind the spread of vector borne diseases like Malaria, Chikungunya, Dengue, etc and waterborne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery and Typhoid. Solid waste management, and public sanitation facilities like public toilets should function like a well oiled machine. Keeping the neighbourhood clean and sanitized is our shared responsibility. Citizens can’t put the whole responsibility on the local government.

“the municipal corporation doesn’t send trucks every night throwing garbage around the city. It’s us, the citizens who continuously keep littering around the city.”

Rightly said by my senior colleague Lawrence Siddhartha Benninger, at CDSA

and voila… we have huge piles of garbage stinking around almost every corner.

We all are definitely running a race here. But it’s in our own hands to choose the track on which we should run. If we do not straighten our act, we are racing towards poor health, high morbidity rates and a bad environment. However, if we strive for safe, healthy and prosperous lives for ourselves and for them who will follow after us, then the only message to follow will be, “Clean will win”

Adi’s Journal
June 2021

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter

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