I was walking down the footpath and I was mulling over today morning's incident. As I was walking past a bus, somebody peeped out of a window and spat on the road.So what ? You would say..this happens all the time. Exactly ! It happens all the time...all the worse for it ! Stained walls, staircases and roads bear testimony to the almost universal habit of spitting in our country. As I walked on thinking about this habit which has attained the status of a disease, I reached the footpath just outside my colony. I passed the regular paani poori wala. Business was brisk as usual for the hawker. This guy has a very clean arrangement and his puchkas taste very good. So, he is very popular in our area.Since my thoughts were preoccupied with cleanliness or the lack of it, I looked around for his dustbin; though I was pretty sure of not finding any such thing. But, surprisingly I was proved wrong ! This man had tied two ends of a gunny bag to the railing of the compound wall and this served as his dustbin. I saw people throw the paper plates in it and also washing hands in it. The footpath was absolutely clean ! It was heartening to see this person so conscious of keeping his surroundings clean.
Bapu used to say "Cleanliness is next to Godliness". How true ! Then why don't we keep our surroundings clean ? Why do we litter ? Why don't we go for proper disposal of waste ?Why don't we minimize waste ? And above all why don't we recycle as much as we can ?
Is it our casual approach or careless attitude which is responsible for our inaction ? Looks like it. Its also a question of who will take the first step ? Is it such a difficult thing to be responsible ? It is not, once we decide to act and follow our conscience. The questions asked above become our answers the moment we decide to pay attention to our surrounding environment.
Friends of Vrindavan or Vrindavan Bandhu is a case in point. This organization does its own bit to keep the holy city of Vrindavan clean. Lakhs of pilgrims visit Vrindavan.The city is not equipped to handle so much pressure. The administration alone cannot be held responsible. Our own habits...lack of sanitation play havoc. Vrindavan Bandhu decided to make a difference by not complaining but by initiating projects to ensure a clean environment.
Vrindavan Bandhu has cleaning staff to clean the bylanes of Vrindavan daily. They also collect dry offerings of flowers, paper and cloth. After segregation, the material which can be recycled is put to good use. The plastic is recycled to make baskets and containers. The flowers etc are used for making handmade stationery. The cloth is used for making handicraft items like dolls.They plant trees on a regular basis. Basically, they clean, recycle and plant saplings. Did you say what difference does this make ? It makes a difference. And you know it when you cross a bylane barefoot while doing a parikrama. After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness. Right ?
Power to Vrindavan Bandhus and others like them who work towards keeping our environment clean. And they are an inspiration for each one of us to begin and do our bit. And that will make all the difference.