Time to develop a culture of cleanliness

Time to develop a culture of cleanliness

When there’s cleanliness around us, our thoughts are more filtered, the public spaces are more sterilised and hygienic, our minds and bodies are healthier, and we have a more positive outlook on life as a whole. Neat surroundings are not just a treat to the eyes but they also make our hearts warm, happy and live a little more.

Well, when it has a plethora of scientifically-proven and psychologically-effective benefits, why not develop a culture of cleanliness? Let’s bring it in our conscience and conscious and be always attentive towards our surroundings, which need immediate attention if filthy. Remember, it’s not the government or the authorities who will clean the puddle of plastic bags outside your home. It’s you, who will be held responsible for the dirt inside and outside your own residence. Responsibility towards your city is first yours to own and then the local authorities.

So how can you work towards it? One of the biggest examples of citizen duty and engagement in cleanliness comes from the Japanese. Yes, the world views them as “obsessively clean!” Japan’s undying commitment to keeping ‘all things clean’ and the strategies for it have startled and impressed the global audience time and again. The country follows an urban orderliness through an institutionalised structure for maintaining cleanliness. While the businesspersons and servicemen sweep the sidewalks in front of their places of employment or office buildings every morning, in the residential areas, community clean-ups are scheduled regularly wherein the residents join hands to clear the drains, pick and collect paper scraps from dirt, cut the grass, pull weeds to spruce the neighbourhood, and properly dispose waste. The drives are now a part of the citizens’ habits. It not just keeps the cleanliness regularised but also educates the youth to be tidy. Apart from these predominant team and volunteer activities in the public, individuals themselves adhere to cleanliness rules and initiatives on a regular basis.

Well, the most impressive factor about Japan’s cleanliness drives is the country’s large population (12.62 crore), despite which its people unfailingly follow their personal grooming standards and an obsession towards tidiness. And unlike India, they don’t hire sweepers or servants or rely on others for public sanitation. They themselves take the responsibility. From spotless railway stations, sparkling airports and garbage-free streets and public buildings, the country is no wonder one of the world’s cleanest.

Initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Mission urges Indian citizens to hold responsibility for their own cities and make them cleaner and greener each day by doing their bit. So why not pick up the broomsticks ourselves, take small but active steps every day and develop a culture of cleanliness in India too?

- Chahak Mittal