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“If you are conscious about your surroundings, others would automatically follow your actions,” says actor Divya Dutta

Many of the  cities abroad are generally kept clean. It could be because of the rules and regulations over there. It is also a way of life there. India is nowhere close to these cities. People rolling down car windows and throwing a chocolate wrapper or other stuff out on to the road is a common sight. You can’t run behind every person to stop him/her from littering or spitting. The discipline should come from within. However, I can see awareness slowly catching up even in India. Chandigarh is one of the cities which is well maintained. Even a small child there seems to know that the wrappers are supposed to be to thrown in the dust-bins.

In Mumbai too, the civic authorities and a few NGO’s have come together to keep Juhu beach clean. They’ve allocated bins everywhere; there is a patrol van. One could actually see civic body cleaning up the mess in the early morning and late evenings. Even the locals are very concerned. I feel each one of us should follow some civic discipline and with rules & regulations in place, we can surely bring change in every city.

My views on Cleanliness is that we’ve taken our freedom way too far. Unfortunately, the laws related to cleanliness have recently been introduced and implementation is going to take a long time. Our attitude also needs a change. Once when I saw the watchman of our building spitting continuously, I politely approached him to stop the act. I think the initial threatening worked in my favour. I didn’t see him spitting thereafter. Another incident happened in front of my brother’s clinic in Mumbai where heaps of garbage were thrown. No one would feel like visiting his clinic. A few residents took up the issue with the local corporator and within 3-4 days the area was cleaned. When people unite for a good cause, nothing can impede their enthusiasm.

Maintaining cleanliness at home or in locality? It’s a routine thing at home. Often I pick-up the broom myself and clean the entire home. We’ve monthly meetings in my building to discuss on the cleaning activities. I’m also attached with many NGO’s and have involved with college NSS unit in many of its clean-up drives. Since you are part of showbiz, a lot of glamour is attached to you. They look up to you and with this comes a lot of responsibilities as well. Our actions and initiatives are taken seriously and followed by people.

At work place I cannot reject an offer just because the place is not maintained well but I can see to it that the place and vanity van are cleaned regularly; they are odour-free; the toilet and even bed-sheets & other upholsteries are cleaned regularly. While shooting for a Hollywood film, we were accommodated in a small house in an interior village in South India. After reaching the spot, all we could see were plastic cups and papers lying all around. The first thing our director requested us was to clean up the area. Everyone from spot boys to actors got into the act.

Our public toilets are dirty throughout the year and I avoid them. I’ve seen why most of the time women suffer from dehydration and low BP problem because they are afraid of using public toilets. Even abroad, not at all toilets are clean and well-maintained but compared to India they are much better.

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