[ Tongam Rina ]
If you ignore the dust in Itanagar caused by the highway construction and consequent traffic jam, and angry drivers swearing in between their mobile phone calls at pedestrians and fellow drivers, you will notice that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan seems to be working in some portions.
The Itanagar Municipal Corporation and Capital district administration along with few spirited individuals seem to be trying to keep the city clean.
In some pockets, most mornings, the IMC trucks come blaring annoying and tuneless Swachh Bharat songs.
One fine morning, I was woken up by one such blaring truck.
Confused, yours truly looked out to find that many -who stay in tamul-paan stained buildings -were out there with their garbage.
Though it’s amazing to see people waiting for the truck, at least in the area where I live in Itanagar, it is unlikely that we will stop ourselves soon from throwing chocolate and Rajnigandha wrappers, and empty water bottles out.
Our rivers will continue to be chocked with shit from homes because many families do not think it appropriate to build proper sewer systems. And plastics that chock our rivers -thrown straight from homes built so precariously near the rivers -killing our rivers and streams.
In February 2016, yours truly was part of a group that cleaned up the stream inside Indira Gandhi Park -the injured lung of Itanagar. The clean up was necessitated because there was a film festival happening and some people came together to beautify the place before the start of the festival.
Three days later, the plastics and wrappers were back with a vengeance as if to make up for the days it was clean.
No matter what the district or municipal administration does, unless there is collective responsibility, nothing much is going to change.
This state is still the state where the police tell us to wear helmet and seat belts and not to speed, for our own safety. We forget that it’s our heads that’s going to get hurt in case of an accident.
And there are always migrant rag pickers, including children who are there to clean the dirt so that we can spend our time worrying about other constructive things. In the meantime, some people can afford to get upset that population has come from outside the state overwhelms Arunachal.
In the meantime, what about locating the nearest dustbin?
[ Tongam Rina ]