Cleanliness!

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Cleanliness they say is next to godliness. Cleanliness means different things to different people. Cleanliness refers not only to the way tend ourselves and our homes, but also the care we take to maintain the environment. The significance of cleanliness and hygiene cannot be overlooked by any society. Habits which are learnt at an early age get embedded into one’s personality. Let me give you an example. This incident happened many years ago, when our kids were quite young. On an outing, our son threw a chocolate wrapper which went and fell on the parapet wall. My husband was very upset with his behaviour and made him climb the wall, pick up the wrapper and put it in the bin. This incident left an indelible impression in his mind about the importance of cleanliness. Later, he was an active participant in many lake cleaning initiatives in our city. Cultivating the habit of keeping our body, homes and surroundings clean should be inculcated in children from a young age.

In India I have seen many educated people who drive big fancy cars but throw wrappers and thrash out of their windows. Why is it that our country is not clean? Why do we find litter all around us, overflowing garbage dumps on the roadside bins, paan stains on the stairs and every other corner. Why are our railway stations, public washrooms in such a sorry state? Even places like the pristine Himalayas are strewn with plastic bottles and bags. Apart from the not so pleasant picture we paint, they are also a haven for spreading of many diseases. Who is responsible for all this? Is it only the government? As citizens of this country are we not responsible to keep our surroundings clean?

Why are some of the western countries so clean? What do they do different from us, that their cities and towns are picture perfect? Let me share my experience on a trip to Europe a few years back. We traveled by road for about 3000 kms across 3 countries. Believe me, during the entire trip I did not come across any place which was dirty.  The small villages, the washrooms at public places, the stations were so clean and well maintained. I will tell you why. In Germany we were waiting outside our hotel for the bus. A lady parked her car across the road.  She had probably come back shopping, so she had many bags in her hand. As she was juggling the many bags, a paper fell from her bag. She kept her bags at the apartment lobby, came back, picked up the paper and put it in the bin. Again this taught me a very important lesson. Just as we are responsible in keeping our homes clean, every single person is equally responsible for keeping his country clean.

There is a dire need to educate and sensitize people about the importance of cleanliness. Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi started an ambitious campaign of “Swachh Bharat”. The media ,social workers, educational institutes can all play a major role in this direction but above all it is we as an individual who can make a difference. Let me narrate a small story about a college girl who made a difference. Their college had gone for a picnic. After sightseeing and enjoying various games they started munching snacks and recklessly throwing the papers and plates all around. One girl among them quietly started collecting all the litter in a cover. Initially her friends started making fun of her. But she quietly went on with it. Slowly her friends felt ashamed of their behaviour and they too joined in her effort.

Gandhiji rightly said “Be the change you want to see “. Just like the girl in the story, if each of us follows this and does our bit in the keeping our surroundings clean, we can definitely paint a picture of a cleaner and greener India! An article I read last week reiterates this. Indore, a city in central India, has been declared the cleanest city in India in 2017. It was ranked at #149 in the year 2014. This year it won the cleanest city award in Swachh Survekshan. How did this turnaround happen?  Point to ponder!!

What are your views on cleanliness? Have you contributed in any way to keep your surroundings clean?

 

 

 

109 thoughts on “Cleanliness!”

  1. Radhika, here in the USA, where I live since 27 years having moved from Germany, I have the same experience like yours, which is unbelievable. People throw out their trash any where from the car being on the road and so on. I have been in India last year and I saw trash on the streets, yet some wonderful cleaniless, but don’t think that some western countries like the USA are much better. It is a mind setting of other’s who still need to be educated it this country here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had been to the US about 15 years back, it was not so bad then I guess. I found it pretty clean in comparison to India. But for the country to be able to maintain decent cleanliness, the attitude of it’s people need to change.
      Thanks for sharing your views Cornelia. Btw, I am unable to view your blog. It gives me the message: webpage not available.

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  2. Right topic!!!right words!!!to clean india,we just clean ourselves and clean nearby our home or wherever you live!!! We call our motherland-bharatmata.it means she is mother and I don’t know why the people can’t clean our mother.As you clean temple,mosque and every religious places, let’s think,NIRAKAR God is everywhere so clean india and green india must be in your priority list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know why when a religious sentiment is attached to something, only then people maintain that place. I have seen in many building staircases, pictures of gods on tiles have been put to keep at bay the spitting of paan. You rightly said Nimesh, we call our country our motherland and we show respect towards her. Cleanliness and responsibility should go hand in hand. Thanks so much Nimesh for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definetly It will turn into actions,if the people like you always keep inspiring, motivating us!!!enjoy your day too!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely agree. The only thing that can bring a change is a responsibility. We can only take care of something or maintain it when we feel responsible towards it. Just like we keep our houses and wardrobes ,it should be just the Anne with our country. Glad you shared something like this. Everyone needs to do their bit. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow..a great one radhika….people generally overlook this…even if they want to be clean and keep the environment clean…they will do that…but as soon as it is time to get out of our comfort zone..they tend to throw everything away and just let it be….this is very troubling….tomorrow i will be better than today…should be our goal for life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ” Tomorrow I will be better than today” a great goal to follow. May be we can add to it, ” and I will be responsible for making my country a better place to live in”. Thanks a lot for sharing your views with all of us!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most of us don’t, true. I know how horrible it is to see piles of garbage lying around everywhere, while travelling by local here. How can people even live in such conditions and why doesn’ anyone do anything about it?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Completely agree with you Radhika, we all need to be serious about keeping our city, country clean like it’s our job! Cos’ it really is our responsibility and we need to realize that and change our attitude instead of just complaining how dirty the streets are.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very well penned radhika, and definitely the need of the hour. I think people in general, restrict themselves to the cleanliness of their homes. I’m sure every child is taught from primary school to keep the environment clean, but when he sees his parents, people in the neighborhood littering the place, the teaching is lost and remains a lesson in the book. High time, people become aware of the requirement to keep the surroundings clean 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So true. The attitude has to be changed. If every citizen felt that this country is theirs to take care of, then they’ll probably take better care of it. Instead people want to keep their own houses clean and dump the litter someplace else. It’s sad but we’ve got a long way to go. There’s a lot of room for improvement…

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    1. Oh yes Shweta. I have seen a lady from my opposite building sweep her house and throw the dust out of her balconying​the. They stay in apartments costing crores of rupees but lack the basic sense of cleanliness.🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is high time people realize the importance of cleanliness. A clean surrounding is not only pleasant to the eyes but keeps many health hazards at bay. I am clueless why people shy away from this important responsibility Arlene!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with you 100%
    What your husband did with your son was totally remarkable. Hardly any parents try and go to such extent.
    The behaviour and the habits are inculcated at a young age and I strongly believe that it is at a younger age that we should teach the habit of cleanliness too at a younger age. But also that each and every one is responsible for our clean society.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Amazing article Radhika! Much needed! I agree, we can’t blame the government for everything….a little effort goes long way. I’ve seen litter being thrown out the car and it makes me sad. What is education, “first rank etc when such a basic act isn’t stressed upon.
    Also, kudos to you and your husband for being such wonderful parents 🙂 Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely article!
    The whole system has to be changed & it’s only possible if we change our mindset for a better well-being & environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A very appropriate post ma’am!! Would like to share a live example!! One day was traveling in Delhi metro!! Was sitting in two setter and adjacent to me was a lady from a very good family along with her son and his nanny!! As her child finished drinking juice she quietly placed the box underneath the seat!! Rather than pointing I felt picking it own in front of her and then throwing in dustbin would be better example for her!!!
    The point is to uneducated people you can teach but about the educated section of the society!! Here govt is at fault or people themselves!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s so true Radhika for it whittles to education, awareness and our attitudes. Swach Bharat will be a success only if we spread awareness on our locality as our home. No one would want his or her home to be a dumping space and everyone must come together to observe cleanliness.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. yes i am agree with u mam, I am also observe that railway station, bus stand, train, bus were very dirty due to a majority of travelers which are educated and know about the advantage of cleanliness but they also throw wrappers in train, bus.and also dirty the washroom.

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  14. I, too, teach my child to pick up after himself and help keep our surroundings clean and tidy. It’s unfortunate that everyone doesn’t do their part. If each person simply took responsibility for their messes, the world would be a much cleaner place.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We were out in a boat yesterday, in the Mediterranean Sea, when a stream of plastic suddenly floated by. A lot of it. And it’s just getting worse. We must avoid plastic as much as possible. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What an amazing post, Radhika! Cleanliness is limited to within the confines of the compound wall if it is your own property or within the limits of your own flat if it is an apartment. I have been appalled by people who leave their thrash at the doorstep of other people’s homes simply because they are too lazy to dispose it off at the right place. A serious problem that has to be addressed. It is ironic that these very same people who strew litter in their own country, behave and go the extra mile once they are outside it.
    It all begins with us and the least we can do is educate our children by example.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Pranitha. I too have observed that most Indians follow rules and maintain cleanliness only outside India. I am appalled by this attitude of theirs. Wonder when they will learn to keep their surroundings clean in their country as well🤔

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  17. Well said, Radhika! And I’m in total support of your thoughts on this issue.In fact, keeping a country, a city, even an apartment clean is in the hands of its occupants, its residents, its citizens. A government can do only a little; it’s the country’s residents who will ultimately decide if the country they are living in should be clean or full of filth.
    Just like every other problem, it’s the thinking that plays the major role here. If one plays only his/her part in keeping his/her surroundings clean, it’s going to be only the matter of time that even India would soon be one of those clean countries we are in awe of.

    Liked by 1 person

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