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The cleanest city: London is one of the clean cities in the world. The public places like gardens, parks, roads and railway stations are cleaned on a regular basis. Even the citizens are conscious about their locality when it comes to cleanliness. You will not see a single person littering or spitting. Back home, it is definitely Chandigarh because one can actually see open areas, very green and clean. Every time I visit this city, I see it is getting greener and cleaner by day. Every city in India has its own charm; it is our duty to retain their beauty.

Views on cleanliness: Cleanliness doesn’t just mean tidying up your home or your office. You should also see to it that your locality is maintained. There is this ‘take-it-easy attitude’ among people in most of the Indian cities. The illegal vendors and hawkers dirty the pavement by littering, washing cups or plates or by cooking. At least 80% of our problems would be solved, if things like littering, spitting or throwing things in public areas are made an offence. We have to make it a practice to empty the waste from the handbag to the bin in our own house when we return from work.

Reacting to someone spitting on the road: I remember telling an auto rickshaw driver very politely, not to spit on the road. Though he listened to me, I am not sure if he stopped the habit for ever. But we need to try. The problem is that there are so many of them; every second person is doing the same thing. Even educated people spit out of the windows of their BMWs. I won’t mind giving them a lesson or two on cleanliness. Even if two out of 50 people come forward and try to change the situation, we can make a difference. Above all, the concept of cleanliness or hygiene should come from within.

The state of public toilets: All of us face this public loo problem. There’s not a single place in India where this issue has been addressed properly. There’s no consideration at all for women travellers. Once while travelling in USA, we had to halt at a small shack between Dallas and Houston. I’ve never seen a well-equipped public toilet with tissue paper rolls and water supply, whereas in India I avoid using public facility even if I’m on a day-long journey. We have a lax attitude towards maintaining public toilets.

You just hope for basic facilities from the authorities.

Maintaining cleanliness: I follow very simple steps. Anyone can follow these practises: do not let stagnant water settle anywhere at home or outside; clean the kitchen sink on a regular basis; and do your pest control regularly. We vacuum our house once a week. But the best is to wipe the dust with a wet cloth. Otherwise on a normal day dusting is followed by sweeping and mopping the floor. Once I’m out of the house, I don’t spit or litter and do not allow others to do either.

Cleanliness and singing: A singer has to take deep breathe in-between while singing. And if the surrounding is not clean or if a foul smell keeps coming, then I cannot sing; I cannot be covering my mouth and nose on and off. I would rather excuse myself from singing in such localities than falling ill.

As told to Clean India Journal

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