The one issue that we can handle without any external help is waste management and waste reduction. To begin with, keeping our immediate surroundings clean should be the primary target. Indian cities have many dustbins placed at regular intervals. But there is always more garbage surrounding the bin than inside it. Why are the citizens so apathetic ? Is it not the duty of every person to ensure he keeps his city clean?
If we do not work as individuals separately to tackle this issue there is no way we can work as a team to reverse global warming or ozone depletion. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” This is one quote every parent, teacher or professor mentioned at least once. While everyone has come across this proverb not many have understood its essence. Keeping your city clean is not really a choice, it is a duty; a moral responsibility. Here is a list of ten reasons why you should take that extra effort to keep your city clean.
1. Aesthetic Value: A clean place instantly looks appealing. Cleanliness raises the ordinary to the extraordinary. Do you think “The Niagara Falls” would be half as alluring if there were plastic bags, bottles or other waste material all around? The answer is a vehement no. It is obvious that we need to keep our city clean to raise its aesthetic value. Everyone wants to live in a beautiful place. Only a few take the effort to make their own cities beautiful while others whine and complain. Learn from those few who do try to keep their cities clean.
2. Health reasons: “There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.”Arlen Specter. Keeping your environment clean goes a great way in keeping you and you family healthy. That should provide enough inspiration to start making a few changes for a cleaner city. Garbage that is not attended to, garbage lying on the road or in uncovered bins serve as perfect breeding grounds for pathogens and germs. Why allow germs to form – why allow them to exist in the first place. Close the Pandora box. It will reduce the spread of all communicable diseases.
3. Kill Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes breed in stagnated water. Most diseases are carried by mosquitoes. Besides the Dengue carrying mosquito, most other species breed in dirty stagnated water. If you ensure that all the roads are clean, you are in effect preventing the mosquitoes from breeding. By keeping the city clean we could easily combat the widespread mosquito menace.
4. Tourism: Tourists throng clean destinations where the possibility of acquiring diseases is minimal. It is a very sensible thought. Nobody would want to spend their vacation lying in bed. Hence keeping a place clean will easily lure more tourists and make tourism a booming industry in the city. Chandigarh is supposed to be the cleanest city in India. Statistics show that Chandigarh attracts a large number of travelers every year.
5. Pure air: With clean surroundings you can rest assured that you will never have to inhale the stench of rotting garbage that often litters the roads. The garbage on the road not only smells bad; but it also attracts many insects and mosquitoes which only exacerbates the problem. If people get their vehicles checked for emissions regularly, even the vehicular pollutant levels in the air can be minimized which will make the air cleaner.
6. Clean water: There are many people who dump their garbage on the roads. This is bad. But there are an equal number who dump their waste into fresh water bodies. This is worse- much worse. It is a well known fact that only one percent of the total water is readily available for consumption. Hence dumping waste into water bodies is nothing short of criminal offence. By doing so you are polluting one of the most important natural resources. Hence it is highly essential to keep water bodies clean. Only if you keep the water bodies in the city clean will the water you drink be free from contaminants and other toxic wastes.
7. Bring your city into the top ranking lists : There are many frequent surveys conducted based on which lists are released regionally and globally. To bring your city into the big picture you need to ensure that it stands out in some way. Keeping it clean would easily ensure that it would stand out in several ways. This will lure tourists into the city thereby increasing the revenue.
8. To lure multinational companies: Research shows that multinational companies are most likely to be set up in places which are picturesque. While nothing can be done about natural landscapes; the scenic beauty can always be increased by keeping the place devoid of garbage and by planting beautiful trees and flowering plants wherever possible. If you make an effort you can definitely make your city look clean and beautiful. By luring more companies; you will also be increasing the employment opportunities for all the people. More companies mean more jobs which mean more income. A small act of keeping your surroundings clean can easily increase the income of many people in need.
9. Preserve the environment: The environment is degrading rapidly. While global warming and ozone depletion are cataclysmic issues per se, the ever increasing and poorly managed waste is also a major issue that needs to be addressed. The waste that is thrown on the roads and street corners does not magically disappear. The government employs people to clean the city. These people just collect the waste and dump them in large land areas. The waste here is either incinerated or recycled. Statistics show that less than 10 percent of all recyclable materials are recycled. The remaining ninety percent is disposed along with non recyclable material. Keep your city clean and recycle as much as possible. This is not only good for you but it is also very good for the environment.
10. A social responsibility: Human beings are social creatures. We seek company at all times. Living in a community imposes on us certain responsibilities. Keeping your city clean is one among them. It is the duty of each and every person to ensure that his surroundings are hygienic . It is a social responsibility to ensure that the environment is preserved and living conditions are sustained through the years. It is only this, which can be passed on to the future generations. Giving back to the society- this is where it begins. Keep your surroundings clean. Give to the future generations what the past gave you. Better it if you can but do not at any cost worsen it. You are morally obligated to keep your city clean. Mother Earth has given you a place to live. It is your responsibility to keep it clean and hygienic and pass it down the line. It is high time that the attitude changes. India is aping the west in many aspects but is failing to do so where it matters most. In the west people are fined for spitting on the road or even for dropping chocolate wrappers on pavements by mistake. They are always conscious and also pick up waste that is lying on the road without being told to do so. When are we going to learn from them ? I think the time for change is now. Better late than never.