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Awareness should come from within

Cleaning is not a once-a-month affair, says TV actor Mona Singh

I’ve been to many places like US, the Middle-East and Europe. I’ve noticed that most of the cities are very well maintained and pristine. Especially states like Chicago, Atlanta & Miami in the USA and Dubai in the Middle East are stunningly clean and well-maintained. But when it comes to public awareness on cleaning, Singapore needs special mention. I remember travelling by the sky-train in Singapore. There was this local woman, noticing a tear on the seat she took a needle and thread from her purse and started stitching it up. I was surprised. I saw pride and commitment in her eyes.

India is nowhere close to these cities. Yet, I feel, Chandigarh is very beautiful and one of the cleanest cities in India. I’m amused to see our people who go on vacation abroad follow the local rules sincerely. Why can’t they continue the same habit when they return to India? Everyone knows spitting spreads disease; kachras are supposed to be thrown in the litter bins and not at your will. The awakening should come from within rather than imposed.

I always carry a trash bag with me and also keep one in my car. Neither do I throw or allow others to throw the wastes outside the car or out of the window. I don’t even throw the mineral water bottles. I bring them back home, crush them and throw them in the bin. I’m not only conscious about my house but even my locality. I’m the in-charge for overall cleanliness of our society that constitutes seven buildings. We meet every Sunday in our building premises and ensure that lifts, floors and stairs of every building are cleaned. Being a celebrity it does make a difference because we set a good example for people.

At my work place I can’t do much. The studios are always in a mess after the day’s shooting. However, I ensure that the green room & vanity vans are swept routinely and the air-fresheners are used to ward off foul odour.

I personally don’t approach people and give lectures on cleanliness. I do remember an incident that occurred during the shoot of a serial. I saw a person persistently spitting in one of the corners of the studio. I couldn’t stand his act and sent a spot boy to him. He did stop spitting there after.

Badly maintained toilets put me off. I remember visiting a popular coffee-shop in Mumbai, where I restrained myself from using the toilet which was badly maintained.

Whenever I’ve travelled abroad I’ve seen that the public toilet in places like parks, shopping malls and even the gardens are kept so well. Sometimes I wonder why we can’t maintain our public toilets. There should be some amount of initiative from the civic bodies; even people should be reminded of their civic responsibilities.

It may sound strange but for me the yardstick to measure the level of cleanliness is to peep into one’s kitchen and the bathrooms. If these areas are clean, according to me even the personal hygiene of that person is excellent. Cleaning is not restricted to your living room and clothes. It is not only good for you but even for your entire house.

As told to Clean India Journal

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