Before you go into this blog, let me make it clear that my intention is not to criticize what is happening in India .My attempt is more of an introspective nature aimed at correcting ourselves.I feel that there are lot of issues in India which are just denied and allowed to be as it is.This is actually indirectly denying an opportunity for correction.Please read my blog “Say Sorry and see the change”on how admission of guilt can lead to correction.
Gasping for breath….
I think I am the best person to write on this pollution problem as I have been a victim of this air pollution for the last decade or so.In fact I have changed my residences and places of stay on account of this persisting pollution problem.I had a robust respiratory system gifted by God, till people living around my residence chose to challenge it.
In fact I was staying in a down south town in Tamil Nadu well known for its educated people .The place is scenic and was a part of God’s own country until 1954.The town is so literate,you will find a post graduate in every house even during as early as the 1970s .The town is so beautiful endowed with nature’ s bounty but every morning I wake up, not to the chirpy sounds of sparrows but to the disturbing smoke set by my loving neighbours .
They gather all the dried leaves falling from the trees in the compounded houses and set fire like a towering inferno!The fire set thus,raises around ten feet setting the entire environment into a smoky cloud you can hardly see through !Don’t think that this fire is set only in one house near my residence.In fact simultaneously around five neighbouring houses set fire almost at the same time! Struggling for breathing I venture out fast to save my self early in the morning !
Alas! As I come out,I find the municipal people who clean all the garbage put them all in a place in the road and set fire with glee!So I run away to a school ground where I go for morning walk.Thankfully school people do not wake up that early to set up their fire ritual.Often my breathing had reached critical conditions that I had to rush to a hospital !On my way to the hospital I find smoky fumes from fires set in houses and roads every say around 100 meter !The place I am mentioning is known for respiratory problems and none of the doctorates there realize that it is the pollution that they so much love,that is responsible for the respiratory problems.When I told the doctor attending me ,he was smiling and responding “Well,that’s part of the culture here!” He would definitely be happy as he gets more respiratory patients!This in fact led me to wonder whether pollution and garbage is an essential part of Indian culture!
Testing your driving skills?
As I go for my daily walk I find broken pieces of coconut strewn all over the street every Friday.This is part of the religious ritual of breaking a coconut in front of the shops by dashing it against the road.As the coconut breaks into pieces of various sizes with sharp edges they get strewn all over the road.The two wheelers crossing the road do a zig zag drive avoiding the sharp edges of the coconut pieces and the entire coconut gets wasted as even beggars do not pick up pieces strewn over dirty roads.Even animals do not or cannot eat them.However,let us understand that the intention behind this ritual is good.The coconut pieces are meant for the poor to pick and eat when it is broken.They could have broken it neatly and arranged it in a plate for any one to eat.It is simply not in our culture to do so.
Here are the other polluting practices of India:
- · All religious rituals involve flowers and are strewn all over during the function.It is never cleaned up later.
- · Death/Funeral Procession –Flowers thrown all through the roads and water bodies.
- · Marriage/Puberty Functions
- · Feeding fish/crows –Rice thrown just like it all over
- · Garbage disposal—Throwing in the streets
- · Crackers during festivals-Why not clean the mess we created ourselves?
In countries like Canada ,you are responsible for the cleanliness of the frontage of your house.If every one of us keep 100 sq ft of road in front of our house,the entire stretch is bound to be neat.Let us join hands to create an awareness in this regard and make India an orderly and pollution free place to live for all.Let us forget trivial issues like beef, India ki jai etc. and focus on making our place a better place to breathe and walk.After all it’s our country!If we do not keep it neat,who will?
By Sundar A.S.