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‘We need to change our attitude’

Cleanest City: Smaller cities in India like Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh are not only well-maintained but green and clean. Mumbai needs to learn a lesson or two from these cities. Malaysia and Singapore are beautiful and green. The infrastructure in Singapore is better; the roads are good and very well maintained. The rules are so stringent that you are fined for even chewing a gum or smoking in public places. Rules like this definitely make the city clean. Whereas in Mumbai, you can see a rickshawallah, taxi driver and even a common man littering and spitting in the middle of the road or at any public area.

Cleanliness comes from within. While travelling, I ensure that the wastes are bought back home and thrashed only in the bin. If I can make a change, it is not difficult to convince others. In Islam, there is a popular saying, “If you believe and love your God, you have to love your environment and preserve them as well.” And I believe and ensure my environment is kept clean and green. We also need to change our attitude. You can still see people spitting at their will, littering, throwing left-overs in open area. First of all, they do not pay taxes like we do and to make them understand about cleanliness is a big problem. We need campaigns to enlighten our youth and empower them to police the offending activities by certain sections of the public. We also need leaders who encourage, motivate or support this cause.

I took the initiative to take up the issue of dirty corridors with my building management committee. The society agreed to re-paint the walls and made stricter rules to penalise the offenders. At home, my mother ensures everything is kept clean and in order. So it is natural to pick that habit from her. I ensure that the make-up vans provided to me are clean and pleasant.

Public toilets in India are filthy throughout the year. However, the toilets in malls and the newly constructed airports are better. Thanks to privatisation of airports, the toilets are well-maintained. But I always carry a tissue roll and a hand-sanitizer with me for precaution.

We speak about saving water, electricity and other resources but no one speaks about cleanliness. We have to take cleanliness as a serious subject; we need stricter rules to change the attitude of the society. We speak about saving paper but we throw paper out of the car windows. How are we going to justify this behaviour?

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