Cleanest city in the world
Amaan: I’ve not seen a cleaner city than Singapore. I think it has to do with the strict law and order. The roads, subways & metros are amazingly cleaner than in London or New York. Even the public urinals are maintained very well. In India, I found certain parts of Delhi very clean and well-maintained.
Ayaan: I’ve travelled world-over and I found that every city has its dark side. By far, Singapore is the cleanest city. I think every citizen in Singapore feel responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the city, which is unique. I’ve seen people carrying their litter till they find a bin to throw. In India, there are parts of certain cities which are phenomenally clean like in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Having said that, there is also the other side of the same city, which is unbelievably in a very sad condition. How do we get an equation?
Views on Cleanliness
Amaan: Cleanliness is in your mind. You need a clean mind to aspire for a clean city. A city is considered clean only when you see the narrow gullies are cleaned and well-maintained. And you don’t see peels, thrash, leftovers and garbage lying all over the place. I know this because I ride at least 15km everyday in my bicycle around the city. Basically, the attitude of the people should change. We should set an example for the uneducated people. If we behave mindlessly, how do we expect things to improve around us?
Ayaan: I agree with Amaan. The whole problem is with our attitude. The moment an individual sees that it’s not affecting him directly or indirectly, he/she is least bothered. The irony is that the same people who litter around in India, do not do so abroad. There is also a need to improve the facilities in our cities. If you can’t see a dustbin for miles and miles, people are bound to throw them on roads and other public places at their will. So the civic authorities should also ensure that there is provision for bins in every junction.
Amaan: A lot of importance is given to cleanliness and hygiene at home. My mother especially is very particular. I’m very fond of dogs, at the same time, I’ve to also keep in mind that the surroundings have to be kept clean. Even when I’m travelling I ensure that all the wastes are bought back home and thrashed in the bin.
Ayaan: Everyone, including me, is very particular about cleanliness at home. I like to see my things in order. It is a mindset; whenever I travel I carry my hand-sanitizer with me. We’ve separate footwears for outside and inside home. We’ve certain rules, which we all follow collectively at home. I follow the rules and regulation wherever I travel whether it’s in India or abroad.
While travelling, I prefer having food only in that place where there is provision to throw things. Otherwise I collect and throw them in the bin after coming home. Our parents teach us the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. But as we grow we hardly practice. Cleanliness is very individualistic; the thought has to come from within and not compelled.
Littering in public places
Amaan: Once, while in Kolkata, I was waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. A bus-driver who had parked his bus beside my car spat on the road. I just rolled down my car window and blasted him. I gave him a ‘piece of my mind’ on cleanliness. I feel, with Commonwealth Games round the corner, it is our duty to keep Delhi clean and green. Only when our cities and infrastructure are maintained well, we’ll emerge as a real winner.
Ayaan: On many occasions I have tried to stop someone from spitting or littering but I haven’t seen much difference. You can appeal to people on national television but I’ve learnt that individually it’s highly impossible to approach and advice every person. Once walking on Peddar road in Mumbai, I was agitated to see a person spitting in the middle of the road. I gave him a disgusted look but, I don’t think it made any difference at all. The most ironic, is the way our people treat our monuments of national importance. The ASI (Archaeology Survey of India) is doing a great job in maintaining them but urine stink, paan/guthka stains and wrappers & chips packet ruin the monuments’ charm. I think the best way to stop littering or spitting in public places is by fining heavily.
The worst of all is our public urinals. Even if someone wants to go, they won’t dare to, the condition is so bad. Our authorities have to be very aggressive and put the rules & regulations in place.
Amaan: I wouldn’t prefer working in such places where there is stench and filth. Sometimes it’s not under your control and in spite of the bad conditions, I have to perform.
Ayaan: The very first lesson my father Amjad Ali Khan taught me was how to keep my Sarod clean. Music for me is sacred; obviously the surrounding has to be clean. But sometimes I do come across obnoxious restrooms and green room.