MEDIA- IT MAKES IT HAPPEN

Hi Everyone,

We all have been watching movies/ advertisements since childhood.  Not only that, many bits from this virtual world of media have etched a deeper place in our hearts and minds.  A memory saved, a habit acquired, a style followed, imitation or emulation or simply given a thought about something that has been seen, it could be anything but not ineffective.  Isn’t it true?

Since we are talking about community cleanliness I want to talk about how media both print and electronic could influence/ rather influencing the efforts in this direction.

Media be it any form-print or electronic impacts our lives in one or other way.  I am not talking any rocket science.  But how could media act as a catalyst in instigating a change, be it a thought or a process.  It is simple.  It is the reach media have that makes it an important player when change of any kind is concerned.  A word of mouth might be taken lightly and forgotten but when same message goes across via print media it carries more significance that makes it noteworthy.  And electronic media takes the appeal a notch higher because visual appeal that a motion picture gives always registers better than a plain word on paper.  Moreover, it has nothing to do with the audience being literate or not and that’s the USP which enables the message to be spread more widely and effectively.

Now that we understood the role of media in spreading a word or rather a message let us see how this has been useful in our Government’s effort to keep our county clean.  For our readers outside India I would like to mention that our government has started a new mission to make and keep India clean and safe (read sans diseases) which is called “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” the literal translation for which means “Clean India Mission”.  And the handlers of the mission who have very well understood the impact of  message on various channels of media are using different avenues to the maximum possible levels.  I would like to list a few advertisements that I have seen which could  go or might have gone far in bringing about a change:

  • School kids spreading the message of washing hands properly, drinking pure water from purifiers and defecating in toilets only.  This message highlights the importance of hygiene.
  • A famous actress (Mrs. Vidya Balan, brand ambassador of sanitation campaign) reiterating the importance of having proper toilets at home
  • Another famous actor (Mr. Aamir Khan), spreading across the message of keeping our surroundings clean that would eventually help us to have a cleaner country.
  • In almost every leading newspaper, in every language the methods to keep the dangerous diseases (read spread by mosquitoes and unhygienic ways) at bay a column is dedicated.  And that too on a repeated constant basis.

These are just few examples on how media is being used for the betterment of country by inculcating hygienic habits in the citizens.  What I liked most in this campaign is that the target audience, which is the entire country has been cleverly segregated and targeted.  For instance, I was talking about an advertisement featuring kids.  The impacted audience includes children for whom it is very important to learn about cleanliness at a young age.   And the point has been intelligently put across.  Similarly, for youngsters and adults if a person whom they idolize and respect tries to say something or put forth a point, that would be taken easily and acted upon too.

Any mission or policy in order to be a success needs support from the core and the core here is none other than the “public”.  No plan can become an implementation and no implementation can be a success until and unless public involvement is guaranteed.  And only awareness can draw its interest.  And media in this regard has left no stone unturned to blow the horn of this initiative.  Right from the day of this mission’s inception media is covering every aspect and every person (read celebrities from every field) associated.  It would be noteworthy to know that just as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” that became viral “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” Challenge became viral.  And it was media which spread the word and awareness and drew more and more people – both celebrities and commoners and culminated efforts for better results.

And the results are yielding.  Many backward villages are now trending  in the way of cleanliness and trying to achieve the tag of “ODF” which stands for Open Defecation Free.  This is just one aspect.  The overall impact is surely positive and definitely counting.   To conclude this I just want to say that media is doing its part in bringing about a change. Let’s do our bit and see a “Swachh Bharat” soon.

We watched few videos mentioned in yesterday’s snippet, “Cleanliness at a glance.” For all other advertisements under Swachh Bharat campaign you can always surf on YouTube.

CLEANLINESS AT A GLANCE

Let’s watch few videos that have been made by some brilliant minds to create awareness. 

 

 

 

 

 

EVEN THE DUSTBIN SAYS, “USE ME!”

The say “Prevention is always better than cure”, which means that to be prudent and cautious, is always better than damage control. We all think about our homes and our personal environment when it comes to the matter of cleanliness. We sweep and broom our homes and throw the dust outside on the road, feeling relieved that we have done our duty towards hygiene and cleanliness, but what about the duty we have towards community? 

img_4440Sitting in our homes, as our kids eat chips or biscuits, we tell them to throw the wrapper in dustbin, we tell not to stick chewing gum to furniture, we tell them not to let any broken glass come in our way, under our feet. But when it comes to the lane we live in, no one cares. No one cares while emptying their dustbins in the lane, no one cares about throwing broken glass outside, no one cares if our kids stick their chewing gum to park benches. Why? Because we don’t consider it our Home or our personal environment, we get so narrow minded that we can’t think outside the premises of the four walls we live in. 

We have all accepted Kejriwal with open hearts when he made something like a Jhaadu as his party symbol, admiring him for his love for cleanliness, we have supported PM Narendra Modi, in his quest to clean India, his Swachh Bharat Abhyan has inspired us all to clean India, but has any of you thought, that before cleaning, we need to stop dirtying? Change begins at Home and everyone’s efforts counts, so when it comes to keeping your society clean, don’t think why me? Or what difference will my efforts make? Teach yourself and your kids to use dustbins when in parks or playgrounds, don’t dispose plastic wrappers in water bodies and pollute them, never allow or encourage anyone to pee against a wall or a corner, don’t just eat popcorn or peanuts and discard the crushed packet on the roadside, pocket that banana peel you are so tempted to chuck on curb and throw it when you see a garbage can. img_4439Even the dustbin says, “USE ME!” What you give community, community gives you back, that water will ultimately come to your taps, those parks are where your kids play, that is the bench on which your parents sit after morning rounds that might be the corner where you hang out with your friends and wife might be the one to slip on that peel. 

And yes, I know many of you are thinking I do just that, so one last question for you all, do you do it when you are being watched or when someone is around, or do you follow this even when you are alone and no one is around to judge you? Please, don’t do it to save your image or to avoid judgement, do it for your community. You might change your home, you might change your city or even your country, but wherever you are, you are part of a community, make it proud, and feel proud to be a part of it. 

ARISE, AWAKE AND SHINE  

 

Sshhh!! Little baby bird sshhh!!

You mustn’t make a noise

No! No! Don’t you let out your voice!

 

Here they come with their spades and axes,

To butcher down our homes.

See . . . the rampage has started . . .

 

Look at the corner afar . . .

There is Mother Mynah struggling to give flight to her babies,

Before the final axe strikes the foundation of her humble home!

Look at Uncle Squirrel scurrying to get his nuts out of the burrow,

In time to save his sweat and toil!

 

My heart goes out to our Creator,

Who created this pristine creation for mankind to dress and to cherish,

What a sight for Him to behold!

 

Oh! Little baby bird you are yet to see the earth . . .

Alas! I cannot promise to show you the lush greenery

I cannot promise to give you a whiff of the fresh air,

I cannot promise you the cool breeze and the clear waters,

I cannot promise you a view from atop the tall oak tree,

But, I sure can perch you on that lofty skyscraper you can see.

Oh! Little baby bird, the rivers are full of sewage

The lanes and by-lanes are stinky with heaps of rotting garbage around,

The air weighs heavy with pollutants galore,

The groundwater is scarce with no rains to fill the store,

Arsenic, Fluoride, nitrates and chlorides seep into the ground,

Where will you find clean water to drink, baby bird, where on earth will you find?

Cleanliness starts from home, baby bird

Keep in heart these golden words.

If your little nest is clean, you will want to keep your community clean,

If your community is clean, you will want to keep your country clean,

If your country is clean, you will want to keep the whole earth clean.

 

They cut down our homes, baby bird and build huge empires in their places

Does it then not give them the onus to keep their kingdom clean?

 

Who will inherit that kingdom baby bird?

Neither you nor me . . .

It is their children who will have a story to tell,

And, their grandchildren a song to sing.

 

Oh! When you gain the strength to soar high baby bird,

I will show you the sad picture from above,

Of infections, allergies and sores,

Of gangrene, pus and blood . . .

 

Lakhs of rupees they spend in treatment,

A miniscule of resources to maintain hygiene they don’t.

 

It’s still not late for them, baby bird

To arise awake and shine,

To reduce reuse and recycle,

To build shield and wield,

A community clean –

A world pristine –

And an earth divine.

REDUCE. RECYCLE. REUSE

As a kid, I saw my Parents do wonderful things in the society and one of them was a campaign that my Father started. It was called the recycling scheme. It was same as what we call “Waste Segregation at the Source” today, but at that time it was a quite a new concept.

Some of you might not be aware of the concept of “Waste Segregation at the Source”. Let me explain that to you.

Where does the waste arise from? Who creates the waste that we see dumped on the roadsides and litter areas? It comes from us. We are the source of that waste. Each one of us contributes to it daily. We eat food and some of the food is left over in our plate which is a waste. We cook food and the peels of the vegetables and fruits are a waste. We eat a packet of chips and other packaged items and the wrapper is the waste. We use various things bandaids, diapers, sanitary napkins, condoms etc. which leads to waste. So, we basically create tons of waste every single day.

All of this waste cannot be disposed in the same way. Food waste gets decomposed at a much faster rate than the non-biodegradable material like polythene and plastics which can be recycled. So, there are different types of wastes and if we segregate them properly – we can enable the disposal of them separately.

So, what are the categories of waste

  • Biodegradable – This food waste which includes food items, mud and plants. This waste can be easily decomposed.
  • Non-biodegradable – This is all the material that is synthetically produced like polythenes, plastic, glass etc. These items can be recycled.
  • Sanitary – This waste is contaminated with anything produced by a human or animal body like diapers, sanitary napkins, used condoms, used bandaids etc. These items currently end up in a landfill which is burnt. It is not the best way to dispose them and a lot of research is going on to find an environment friendly way to dispose these.
  • Medical – This waste is basically expired medicines. Most of the pharmacy companies have a way to dispose this waste.
  • Electrical – Fused bulbs, tubelights, plugs, wires, batteries etc. Anything that has wires and plugs in it. Parts of the electrical waste can be reused and rest ends up in landfills.

If we mix all this waste and give to our garbage man. He puts all of this in the landfill, whereas we can reduce the amount that goes into the landfill by 80-90% if we segregate this and send it to the right places.

My father saw this opportunity and he went house to house in our colony educating people about it. The campaign was quite a success and a number of ragpickers were asked to collect non-biodegradable waste which they could sell to the recycling units. These ragpickers would otherwise need to sort out the non-biodegradable waste from the mix of waste – which I say was really bad way to do it. These ragpickers respected my father so much because he gave them a clean business which was highly lucrative. They need not spend their days working in the garbage anymore.

I got inspired from dad and led the Waste management program in my society. It had to do with educating the residents and garbage collectors. It is quite a challenge because some people are just lazy to do this segregation.

My appeal to all of you is that – Take Responsibility of your Waste. You should make sure that your waste lands at the right place and you reduce your waste footprint on this planet.

If any of you need more information of the “Waste Segregation Program” – please contact me. You could also use Google alternatively.

DO YOU OWN A TOILET?

Cleanliness starts from home which was rightly pointed out by Aastha yesterday. And if you visit somebody’s toilet and that toilet will let you know how clean those people are whom you have visited. Two things really make me feel awkward and they are dirty toilets and dirty beds. I will never prefer to stay in a place where these two things are not clean. I can sleep on the floor but it has to be clean. I can use any kind of toilet but it has to be clean.

And the worst part of the story in India is, the public toilets we have are the worst. I feel horrible when I feel like using the toilet in the stations or bus stands or any other public place because they are absolutely dirty. And usually what we do in a toilet like that? We use it and come out without flushing or throwing little water in the pan. And the cycle continues to make it more dirtier and nastier.

I tried to get some stats regarding the number of people using toilets in India. And I was astounded.

Around 60 per cent of Indians do not have access to safe and private toilets, a new study has claimed.

A report titled ‘It’s No Joke – State of the World’s Toilets’ by WaterAid states that “If all 774 million people in India waiting for household toilets were made to stand in a line, the queue would stretch from Earth to the moon and beyond.”

According to the study released on the occasion of World Toilet Day on Thursday, the world’s second most populous nation has 60.4 per cent of its people without access to safe and private toilets.

It was a statistic given in The Indian Express in November 2015.

But…

India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has released the Swachhata Status Report, 2016, which states that the usage of toilets is 95.6 per cent in rural India and 98.8 per cent in urban areas

I don’t know how true is the report. But we need to understand that just a simple cemented covering doesn’t make a toilet. A toilet is not complete even when it is beautifully built yet there’s no water supply to it.  

I really don’t know what to do when it comes to “Community Cleanliness.” What will be my role when I talked about toilets! How I am gonna be a part of that movement?

Things to ponder upon…

Some pictures made me think so much… Some don’t even own a toilet and report says, 95%? Huh, I don’t know what to comment on this…

maxresdefault-1I remember the ad where Vidya Balan creates awareness about the importance of building your own toilets at home to avoid diseases and infections…

Because,

Noting that the resulting health crisis is a serious matter, the report said that more than 140,000 children younger than five years die each year in India due to diarrhea.

Let’s think about it seriously…

Keep reading, keep creating awareness and keep participating in different community activities for the well being of human life around you.

Stay Blessed!!!

 

CLEANLINESS STARTS AT HOME, BUT.. IT DOES NOT END THERE

That was my first trip to a foreign country. I had been to northern part of our globe in the Europe region, Finland. It was autumn and nature was filled with colors. It was a visual treat…

Fortunately, I managed to find a place where I can share an apartment with another girl who was my friend’s friend.  In no time the week passed by. I quickly browsed, rented a by-cycle and paid a visit to a couple of lakes nearby on Saturday. The second one was very scenic. It was surrounded by maple trees with leaves ranging from green to yellow to deep orange. The gradients of those colors and their reflection in the water was just awesome. 

A thought crossed my mind. What if the same lake was in India? A smile came over my face, that’s because I am pretty sure the lake would be filled with plastic covers, plastic glasses and all sorts of debris if at all this was India. It’s better I enjoy this evening without such thoughts, I told myself and walked over to the other side of lake..

It rained heavily during the night. I woke up in the morning, made a cup of hot coffee and was peeping outside the kitchen window, the temperature meter outside the window was reading 7 °C. I opened the door after I heard a knock and there stood a small girl, may be around 6 years. She smiled and asked me , “Are you joining us ?”. Before I could respond, my roommate responded with a “yes”.

“Put on your shoes, in the drawer you would find a pair of hand gloves, wear them if you are willing to join me”. I stood there with a question mark look on my face, she read it and said, “we are going to clean the apartment complex and clear all the leaves that would have fallen off for the rain yesterday night”. I joined them with a curiosity, but to my surprise the whole apartment complex is there, right from children who are as young as 3 years to 90 year old’s.  It took close to three hours to clear the compound but it was so much fun and an eye opener for me. 

Later I learnt that, the civil services there would come and clear the compound if it wasn’t, but people also play an active role in keeping the premises clean. No body is forced or requested to do it, but people do it voluntarily. May be “voluntarily” is a bad word to use because they feel the sense of responsibility towards the society they live in and in turn to the nation they belong to. 

For me, that was the very first time I ever participated in a community cleanup, but I have to admit that it was so fulfilling and it gave a sense of satisfaction that I did my bit to the complex I am currently living in. It changed the way I used to think about government, civic bodies, municipalities etc.

India stands tall on the world map for its rich cultural heritage, but there is one thing that really keeps people away from visiting India – CLEANLINESS.

Many educated people like me or who would have visited a different country (which in principal is more cleaner than India) may be embarrassed by the fact that cannot be missed from catching one’s attention –  CLEANLINESS

Indian homes are meticulously kept clean and spot less, but once we head into the streets is when we would find mountains of garbage, graffiti on the walls, filth, debris – you name it and you have it. Most of the dustbins are over flowing, spitting on the walls, peeing in public places , all this leads to unhygienic conditions to live. 

We are very impressed and almost flattered the way cleanliness is maintained in other countries and the very first thoughts would be “I wish India was this clean”, ” I prefer to live in a country which is this clean”, “Don’t know when Indian government would learn from developed countries”.  

I won’t blame government for everything. Give a thought to this – with a country so densely populated as India, the sanitation and drainage system is fairly good. Even in metro cities, it is very uncommon that we see the drainage system failing unless there is a flood of rain. With the population growing at an alarming rate, Indian government is finding it difficult to cope up with the everyday growing demand of waste disposal, which undoubtedly is a fact every Indian would agree. 

Is it only the duty of government ? Nothing  of us – the citizens of a country ?  What can we do to keep our nation clean and make this world a better place to live?

  • Stop littering: Let’s not make it more filthy in the first hand. The waste that you are in possession of, have patience to carry this with you until you find a dustbin. It is not going to take a whole lot of energy to do this 
  • Educate kids of their responsibility:  Certain responsibilities not being taught as part of curriculum could be one of the reason’s we think that it’s solely government who shall be taking care of everything. 
  • Organise community clean-ups: Twice a month or when there is a need, get-together, plan and organise cleaning activities. 
  • An anti-litter policy: Enforce an anti-litter policy in your apartment, office or any other communal place
  • Beautify the surroundings: Grow landscapes, develop pathways and have trash cans at designated places. People tend not to litter when the surroundings are kept clean, and this would encourage them to find the trash can – it is not a treasure hunt after  all.
  • Volunteer for community clean-ups:– No motivation more than keeping our premises clean is needed to roll up our sleeves, isn’t it ? Mark your calendar and have dedicated hours spent at regular intervals.
  • Have your own litter collection: When you organise parties or meet-ups in the roof top or garden area, get your own bins and help keep the premises clean.

Cleanliness is a habit. It has nothing to do with what social class we belong to. We need to help renovate our surroundings, improve the cleanliness and appearance of public places. The sense of involvement in community gives greater satisfaction and leads to a better standard of living. If all citizens are determined for a clean and hygienic environment, the wards, villages and entire cities will become clean.

Keeping our community clean is our primary responsibility …