The air is abuzz with the call from the top to keep the environs around the land’s people free from garbage, with emphasis on urban space across the country. No such call is heard in the rural parts prompting the inference that the rustics are either not noticing untidy areas amidst themselves or not unduly concerned about the state of living spaces. Further, they may even be generating garbage in negligible quantities, and added to that, they may be dealing with the offending mass by following the expression that converting waste into wealth is testimony to progress of the country. Thanks to the countrywide paucity of toilets, the issue of open defecation by residents of villages, with rare exception was bestowed open debates in a multitude of circles including the nation’s parliament like never before. All questions seem to have been answered with regard to answering nature’s call by the masses.
Urbanites and rustics are clearly different kettles of fish in the way the residents of the two distinct regions of the country generate rubbish. The former sections have the unconquerable habit of tossing waste at will on roadsides as well as near eateries, wetting the walls of public buildings, spitting all over pavements and dirtying the living spaces without a bother.
The civic authorities, as in Mysuru, pass laws stipulating penalties and punishments for those crossing the Lakshman Rekha by smoking in public spaces (and discarding the remaining stub, often not bothering about putting out the burning piece), answering nature’s call in full view of passers by, throwing on the ground packaging wrappers of pan masala, chips, biscuits, fried snacks and so on. People hesitate to ask the offenders to avoid fouling up the road sides, pavements, premises of worship precincts in the back drop of a rowdy beating a lady for pointing out his foul act. Publishing in the news papers regularly about the garbage mass produced daily in thousands of tonnes has made no change in people’s attitude to the garbage.
Environmentalists are waging a losing battle against the littering citizens hell bent on endangering the nation’s environment, not to forget letting sewage into lakes (like in the case of Mysuru’s Kukkarahalli Lake), mixing toxic industrial effluents with rivers and so on. Dealing with the irresponsible masses with kid gloves is the bane of the nation.