I am stressing on the need to inculcate a sense of cleanliness all around in the minds of school children as they hold the key to the future. A future transforming Aswaccha Bharat into A Swaccha Bharat.
Last month, I was coming back to Delhi from Bhopal. As the train got ready to depart, I finished a couple of bananas and went near the gate to throw the skins. As usual, the dustbin under the basin was brimming with waste. So, I casually threw the skins on the rail tracks through the gap between the platform ledge and the bogie. "Uncle”, a stern voice called up. The voice belonged to a sweet looking young lady behind me. "There is a dustbin", she said pointing to the dustbin, putting due emphasis on "there is". Embarrassed, I muttered a sort of apology-falsely grinning-and scampered back to my cabin. Waise bhi I do not mess around with beautiful ladies. I was, however, happy to note that there are people with civic sense around and later, dutifully tucked in foils and paper plates remaining from my dinner into a plastic bag which I carefully kept in my bag for careful disposal. I did not want to get reprimanded again. The lady occupied a cabin next to mine with her family. Came morning and the train reached Delhi. Everyone jostled for the door as if the bogie was on fire. I went last, casting a furtive look around to see whether I had left any waste. Moving ahead I was in for a shock. The place the lady and family had occupied presented a look of a garbage bin. Empty packets of chips, biscuits, aluminium foils all lay scattered. The Preacher had not practiced her preachings.
This is the irony of our country. We specialize in preaching but hardly practice them. God men preaching celibacy and self-control often land up in jail on molestation and rape charges. Politicians preaching in favor of anti-corruption laws stack away their black money in foreign accounts. Persons preaching women emancipation do not let their womenfolk lift their veils or to wear skimpy clothes.
In the locality I live, I have come across reputed schools prominently displaying flex boards with SWACCHA BHARAT written on them exhorting the students to keep the premises clean. Good move, however, they are blissfully oblivious of the fact that daily kilos of waste in form of wrappers, foils, empty tetra packs and like are swept from the swanky AC buses ferrying their enlightened students onto the main roads. The buses have teachers accompanying the students. Is this the kind of swacchata they are imbibing in the mindset of the young children? How about putting a dustbin for throwing the extended breakfast snacks that the rich brats gobble and munch in the buses?
In societies also, residents tend to keep their waste near someone else's flat or in the common areas away from their own houses. People spend lakhs of rupees to renovate their flats but hardly bother to have a dustbin. One may see punctured polythene bags spilling the waste in the corridors.
I am stressing on the need to inculcate a sense of cleanliness all around in the minds of school children as they hold the key to the future. A future transforming Aswaccha Bharat into A Swaccha Bharat. Let them be the torch bearers of Preach and Practice. Till then loiter in the litter.
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