The Trash Superpower! - By Barnali Saha

The Trash Superpower!

by Barnali Saha

Garbage Trash Dump & Ragpickers in KolkataDoesn’t it feel just fabulous to know that we can win the Nobel Prize? So what if the prize comes for filth and grime. As long we get the award, it doesn’t really matter on what subject it has been awarded. Everything is fair in Nobel and War! Shouldn’t we be proud that we, the citizens of India, have successfully polluted our country to such an extent that even Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had to curtsy to our success and say that “I think our cities have the dubious distinction of being the dirtiest cities in the world. There is no doubt about it. But if there is a Nobel Prize for dirt and filth, India will win it.”

It seems that our minister-ji is a good-Joe who knows it all, and like the rest of the country, brushes off any responsibility by merely saying that everything bad can happen in India. Let us delve deep into the problem ourselves and see how India became pollution and grime superpower. Well, Indians are merciless martinets about the cleanliness of their interiors. But then why are our cities so unclean and dirty? The reason is our basic character. Over the years we have learned to care more about ourselves and less about our society. The healths of our families are more important than the well being of our neighborhoods. Moreover, the neighborhood is our neighbor’s place and we derive great enjoyment in polluting it. Desecrating the neighborhood by spitting on it, throwing the smelly plastic bags at it or simply micturating on the roads can be elaborate entertainments for many. We all look at the unclean neighborhood and complain about its untidiness without realizing that it is us who pollute it. We blame the government for its lackadaisical attitude regarding pollution control and the government blames us that we, the people of India, cannot keep our society clean. And since India is a democracy, the citizens cannot be forced to accept the regulations for cleanliness which the government might create. A great deal of importance is given to the conscience of the people who ‘might’ one day wake up and realize the importance of creating a Green-India. But when India is on the verge of a population explosion and its cities are becoming dumping grounds, isn’t it time for the Environment Minister to wake up and do something instead of calumniating the citizens?

It is time that we wake up and take responsibility for the mess that we have created. As citizens we should all pledge to stop using plastics and dispose garbage properly. Recycling is indispensable to both the natural environment and us; it is the first step to clean India. Eradicating poverty and increasing the affordability rate so that a basic standard of living is set for the whole country are important steps. We don’t want to see an image of dirty, spitting, dumpster like India portrayed in the canvas of the world. It’s time to say Jago India!

Barnali Saha -

 Barnali is a creative writer, painter and elocutionist from Nashville, TN.

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