We can plant trees but we need to stop littering too
Travel is never associated with cleanliness. It is always about luxury, backpacking and experiencing something new. Little do many realise that it is also about preserving our surroundings, it is a responsibility that every backpacker or vacationer should take. I’ve been on the mission to tell people to not litter the place.
I’ve noticed it is rather difficult for people to not dirty a place as it is habitual act. Every single day I somehow happen to count the number of times people spit paan around me. One particular day, I counted five people on a railway platform in one minute. Having forgotten my attempt to count, I was reminded of it when I met an over-enthusiastic rickshaw driver who spoke through mouthfuls of red liquid we fondly know as paan. He also habitually spat it out when he realised I didn’t understand what he was talking about, without checking if it splashed on a passerby.
It is hard to explain how people do not think twice before spitting around on railway platforms, on railway tracks, roads or randomly in thin air. However it is easier to tell them not to do it but that too has its own share of amusing incidents. One of the earlier times I remember telling somebody not to spit on the road, he immediately told me, “Tera baap ka rasta he kya”; that it was rhetorical is understood from the tone and the fact that I was left dumbfounded at his retort. Another interesting reply I once received was ” Sab log toh idhar thunkte he”. Spitting is one of the many problems that India faces in terms of littering. Throwing garbage on the road, or even on the platform while a bin is just behind is usual.
On this Earth Day, we could just help make an attempt to tell people who don’t know, and the people who deliberately do it about the importance of keeping our surroundings clean.
A few years back when I visited Mysore, there were officials at public places who fined people for throwing garbage on a clean road. It was no surprise that in 2016, Bangalore received the award for the cleanest city in India.
Five Steps To Keep Our Surrounding Clean
1. Carry a plastic bag in your work bag to dispose of thrash while travelling.
2. Make use of the bins that are present at regular intervals.
3. Carry a spittoon if you eat pan and avoid painting the town red.
4. Do not dispose of garbage anywhere unless it is a garbage bin.
5. Create awareness among people.
While we may talk about planting trees this Earth Day, we cannot ignore cleanliness.