Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
When they taught me- Cleanliness is next to Godliness, I took the lesson tad too seriously. The principle became a rule of my life and before PM Modi started his "Swach Bharat Andolan', I had my own cleanliness drive that beckoned me from Nagpur to Chennai to Kolkata to Delhi. I have lived in different cities and travelled even more of them. Amongst all the places that I visited in India, Chandigarh is one of my hot favourite and Agra ranks lowest in the list for the obvious reason.
Am I being caustic or sarcastic? Oh, good lord no. All I am emphasising is the importance of cleanliness in our lives, including the globe we live in.
We are a selfish Human brigade
We human though are the superior of most species, we are the most selfish of all of them. Why? We need to see beyond ourselves, our personal hygiene and space. We need to look after the environment in totality. The earth we live in, the atmosphere we breathe in and the water that sustains our lives. We need to be little more sensitive towards Mother Nature and should not forget the preventive and precautionary actions of nature.
We need to more alive, inclusive and respectful towards the environment. trust me it does not require mammoth efforts but simple, small steps that we can incorporate in our day to day lives.
What are those steps?
Charity begins at home and cleanliness begins from the neighbourhood. Hence, it is imperative to not just keep your house but also your vicinity, your city, your roads, your rivers and sea clean. How? Here's how-
1) Avoid littering the streets / roads or public places: Oh you grabbed that delicious Vada Pav on your way to the work and ate to your foodgasm delight. You ate every bit of it except the paper/ plastic it came wrapped in. It is very simple and convenient to throw it out the window, on the road/ railway track though. I am sure if you hold back on your litter thrust and secure that waste with you till you locate the nearest bin and then throw inside it, you will feel a greater sense of satisfaction.
2) Spit NO hit: You might be shooting champion but that wall is not your target and betel juices are no substitute for bows and arrows. Consuming that Paan, Tobacco was your personal choice, why colour the walls, streets or stairs with it? Leave your marks in the world with greater deeds and spits don't get counted in that.
3) Go Best with Your Waste: Food, disposables, napkins, diapers extra are your waste. Be thankful that there are people who volunteer for the public cleaning/ sweeping/ waste disposal job. extend your courtesy/ gratitude to them by being mindful about your waste. Stop dumping them in nearby drains or leaving unwrapped. Wrap your sanitary napkins, old bandages in proper sheets and paper before handing over that poor rag picking child. Just imagine yourself/ your child doing that job and that trick will work wonders.
4) Be thoughtful to what you dump in water bodies: Your water supplies come from rivers, lakes and sea depending upon the available resources and resource management skills of government bodies. You are going to drink, eat, bathe that water and you owe to water bodies to supply you with it. So, you need to equate your love for the God that worship/ ritual that you follow by showing a basic respect towards the water bodies. I am sure, God will love you for this.
5) Tree the World: Deforestation is a big issue. If you cut one tree, you should aim to successfully plant 5 more at least. Plant trees on soil/ land/ reality and not papers. A lot of mining and other projects in India, are developed on land by chopping forests and trees in mass numbers. No matter what the barter policy of planting new trees suggest, a lot of businesses including Government bodies do not abide by the law. If you take planting trees as a moral responsibility, I am sure you will achieve a sense of Godliness in your own way. Trees keeps the air clean, fresh and aides in climate control and preventing soil erosion.
So, this Ganesh Chaturthi, pledge to bring more cleanliness, more greenery cause there is Godliness in greenery.
Ganapati Bappa Morya!