NOBODY DOES, WHY SHOULD I DO?

Nobody does, why should I do?

If a survey is done then I think this dialogue would be the most spoken dialogue in India when it comes to the carrying out of duties and responsibilities.

Is there not a traffic rule to over take a vehicle from the right side? Is it unknown for some? No, it is not. Everybody is aware of this rule yet there are drivers do the opposite or whatever seems convenient to them.

Throwing rubbish, a used cup, a plastic plate, waste food materials on the roads are not allowed. Is it not known to all? Yes, it is very well known to all of us yet, some of us do it at ease.

Urinating on the street is not allowed. Is it unknown to all? No, yet people do it disobeying the rules.

Wearing a helmet for the bikers is a mandatory rule. And this rule is made to save lives… for the benefit of the rider yet people don’t obey it.

Be it objecting to open urination, be it opposing eve teasing/ molestation, be it pointing out violation of traffic rules, be it reminding the importance of clean surroundings and sanitation – we choose to turn a blind eye by proclaiming the same slogan, “Nobody does, why should I do?”

Civic Sense is nothing but the sense of responsibility which refrains us from misusing and misbehaving in public places. But why don’t I follow it? Because I don’t want to be the first one but I wait for everybody to do it then I can imitate them like an uncivilized monkey.

I remember once I approached one of our neighbors to turn off electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on a specific day (I can’t remember the date) as a symbol of commitment to the planet celebrating “World Earth Hour“. His response didn’t astound me but made me feel sad about it.

Because he said, “Nobody does, why should I do?”

My former boss has a very good habit. Whenever he travels in the trains he collects all the rubbish around him thrown by his co-passengers and put it in a plastic carry bag to keep it under the seat so that whenever the rubbish collector comes he would hand over the same to him. Last week when I was travelling to Cuttack I remembered him and followed the same.  That definitely astounded my co- passenger because they have that attitude of repeating the same slogan – “Nobody does, why should I do?”

A good citizen makes every utmost effort to do what he/she can do at his/her level. There are well explained designated responsibilities defined by the Indian constitution. Simply following them would ensure that we are good citizens of our beautiful country. If I have to repeat then I would love to repeat that, if we want our government officials to be more responsible and hard-working, then we too need to strive hard. We need to follow guidelines and have to respect plans and reforms in order to maintain harmony and peace. 

Concluding this article as well as the current week, I would like to encourage all of you to  take an oath today to do at least what is required of us instead of singing our old song all the time.

I try my best to do what is required by the law of my land. Are you doing the same?

Stay Blessed!

CHANGE IS POSSIBLE – MUMKIN HAI !!

I stopped reading the newspaper long time back. With the news full of scams, murders, rapes and corruption, it makes all of us feel helpless and resigned. “Nothing can change this country” – we say and get on with our daily routines. This feeling of resignation makes us blind. It makes us somebody who is only ready to blame and not take any responsibility. It makes us blame the authorities, government, neighbors, schools, colleges and youngsters – basically everybody other than the people living under our own houses.

As a kid, I saw my father make a difference to a small community when he first started a waste management program. I saw him work hard, toil his days only in educating people about segregating waste. That step of his was a huge inspiration for me. Waste segregation not only made our colony cleaner but it helped those poor rag-pickers who got clean dry waste to be recycled. He changed a few lives and inspired many.

I grew up and came to Bangalore. I joined a couple of NGO’s and Landmark Education. I soon found that here work was being done even at a bigger scale. Providing learning skills to underprivileged kids, teaching English and Computers to underprivileged kids, working on waste segregation at a much larger scale, basic sex education to kids and working against child sexual abuse – I have largely touched these areas while working with many people. I realized that world is full of passionate and enthusiastic people who are not resigned but all ready to make a difference at their own scale.

It is very easy to sit at home, watch news the whole day and read newspaper which is anyways full of negativity and blame the government. It is not very easy to take up an issue that our society is struggling with today and make it a mission of your life. Fight it with all your might – like a soldier protecting his nation.

Few years back, when Aamir Khan (renowned Bollywood actor) premiered the show named – Satyamev Jayate, I was touched to the depths of my heart. The first episode was about female infanticide and feticide – a major problem in this country. I cried my heart out imagining how many girls are killed every day, either as an infant or in the womb.
Satyamev Jayate is not about the problems in our society, it is not about finger-pointing and blaming the authorities. It is about looking for a solution at the ground level. The way this team has got the heroes of this country in limelight, it gives a huge inspiration to each one of the viewers.

To believe in the fact that “change is possible”! Yes, there are burning issues but the solutions are also available. In a country of 1 billion people, even if 10% of us take up a cause and a mission to bring about a change, corrupt politicians will be weakened.
I don’t read the newspaper at all. I rather subscribe to Facebook pages of the organizations and individuals who have taken up the mission to bring about the change. They give me much more hope and motivation to continue my mission. I am not interested in reading about scams, murders and rapes; I am more interested in reading about heroes of this country who never come into a limelight of media.

For me, a good citizen is the one who is not resigned about the condition of his/her county. A good citizen makes every utmost effort to do what he/she can do at his/her level. Soldiers are not the only one who have the responsibility to protect our land. It is each one of us who needs to do the work at our level to protect our land.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE A PACKAGE

Last week I met with an accident. A speeding taxi rubbed my two-wheeler from the side, I tried to land my foot, my trouser got stuck on some pointed object on the two-wheeler beside me. The two-wheeler rider was obviously not expecting this; hence he couldn’t control his bike. My trouser got torn, there was a cut on my leg, a severely sprained wrist. I was in an utter shock and all the above happened in few seconds. Another two-wheeler behind me got stuck between my tire and the footstep.

I came home, crashed on the bed, by next morning I have developed fever. Unable to move out of bed, I wondered what was wrong. It was my leg, there were four bruises and one cut ☹ After a visit to hospital, got a bandage for hand, dressing to the wounds, injection and medicine, was limited to home for next few days. I remembered that petrol in my bike was on reserve. On the weekend I had to refill the petrol, if not in case of emergency it would be difficult to even go to nearby hospital. With this thought, I took out my bike and was on road.

I was driving at minimal speed of 5 kms as the road was completely jammed. There was a car behind me, he honked once, I looked in the rearview mirror and ignored it, he honked again this time I noticed that he has an “L” board on his car. One more honk, I parked my two-wheeler right on the road and gave my piece of mind to the driver. “Firstly, you have no emergency, Secondly, as you are aware the lane is single lane, Thirdly, as you are still a learner, learn to drive without honking, Sorry, I am not giving you way because there is none and I cannot harm people walking on the side”. Normally, no matter how much they honk, I do what is right, but I don’t resort to giving lectures on road. This is the first time, and I really felt good doing it.

People in India honk more than required, sometimes so much that they don’t stop it.  We don’t really care, our work has to get done. We make more noise than what the problem’s seriousness really is and do nothing about it.

Attitude is the biggest problem, there are two distinct and interesting attitudes “Chalta hai” (It’s ok) and “It’s not my problem”. Is it never our problem unless it happens in our own family? The same are the reasons why we struggle every day, it is not the government. 

Every role comes with responsibility. Being a citizen is a role and Indian constitution has defined designated responsibilities to us.

  • Indian citizen must respect their National Flag and the National Anthem.
  • They must respect, value and follow all the noble ideals used in the national struggle for freedom.
  • They must to protect the power, unity and integrity of the country.
  • They guard the country and maintain the spirit of common brotherhood.
  • They must protect and preserve the cultural heritage sites.
  • They must protect, preserve and improve the natural environment.
  • They must safeguard the public property.
  • They should develop scientific temper and spirit of inquiry.
  • They must work hard to get excellence in every area of individual and collective activity.

These responsibilities are not just for the best interest of the country but of the people. Abiding to those responsibilities would bring prosperity to us and the nation. Simple changes to our behaviors, follow the rules, vote to choose who is going to give us a good direction, pay taxes on time, participate and encourage others for community work, keep our premises clean, help the government to perform their job better.

As a good citizen it is our duty to be responsible for the welfare of society and in turn our country. We have to change our thinking and act to see the positive effect it can make on the society. Let’s collaborate and work together.

 

“The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power” 
― Wael Ghonim

CITIZENSHIP OATH

When my eyes are bold
to identify
the
good and bad

When my ears are

keen to listen
to stories unheard

When my mouth

dares to
speak the truth I see

When my hands

break open free
to fight for justice

When my legs

never complain
to walk the miles
to support a cause

The day when I
scrub off the
impeding dirt
of my body clean
I pronounce
I am a
good human being
and
When I am able to
fulfill these
I am
a good citizen!

ARE WE REALLY GOOD CITIZEN?

Who is a good citizen? The one who keeps on criticizing and blaming government for all the issues or the one who believes in retaining laws and rules and effectuates his/her responsibilities. All of us might have gone through certain articles depicting what should and should not be done in order to be a good and responsible citizen. But how many times we really followed them? We want government to introduce new policies and plans for the sake of development. And eventually government does so. But do we really take care of those plans and reforms?

Okay I am not going to give you the list of all such reforms and plans. Instead I am going to talk about what does it means to be a good citizen. For being a good citizen first of all we have to understand the fact that, all  those laws, rules, plans are made for our welfare. Government imposes them so that we could be benefitted. If people don’t really follow them or show disrespect, then these rules and reforms won’t work. I accede it’s the responsibility of government to work for people and think about their welfare. But we people also have some responsibilities for our nation. And we can’t ignore them. Some of you may ask what are those responsibilities and duties. So, I am going to tell you about an incident.

In the year 2014 Loksabha Election was held. And in school we were taught about election and importance of casting votes in election. My hometown is in a village. And villagers were not so aware about the importance of voting. Therefore, me and some of my friends, we decided to spread awareness about how important is to cast our votes. Initially it was a bit tough to convince ladies and old men. Because, ladies thought they are illiterate and are busy in household. Old men thought they are old and young people are meant to cast votes. They thought their votes don’t count. But we explained them that, it is through their votes a new government will come into power. And that government has to be the one who will meet their expectations. Eventually they understood and everyone casted their vote. This really made us happy. And that day I understood it is very important to take part in nation’s welfare. Now, there are many fields in which we can contribute. We can work for ensuring or spread awareness in the field of education, health, sanitation etc.

We have been given the freedom to express and to do many things. But our action should not be in the direction of violating rules and regulations. Rather, we should discharge our duties and responsibilities towards our nation with honesty and zeal. A nation is said to be prosperous only if it’s citizen are cautious and responsible. We have to keep in mind our actions are somehow affecting our country in some way or the other.

If we want our government officials to be more responsible and hard-working, then we too need to strive hard. We need to follow guidelines and have to respect plans and reforms in order to maintain harmony and peace. Instead of being a critic, we should contribute in our country’s development. Some people think, why should they poke their nose in it? And this is called as ignorance. Ignorance can never make you a good citizen. But understanding your roles and duties and executing them can surely make you a good citizen.

IS THERE ANYTHING CALLED AS CIVIC SENSE?

Its long back that we studied what is Civic Sense. We knew what it was when we were small obedient children. And today most of us have forgotten about it. Or should I say, as we are growing up we are becoming increasingly ignorant? Just to refresh your memory, Civic Sense is nothing but the sense of responsibility which refrains you from misusing and misbehaving in public places. Common examples could be not spitting or urinating on the roads, not portraying obscene behavior at public places etc. Civic Sense includes but is not limited to not creating public nuisance. It has a larger ambit and includes traffic, government, health, education, environment etc.

So many times I have seen that a nice posh Honda City is driving ahead of me and waits at the signal when it turns red. Good, the driver is following traffic rules. But that’s not all!! As soon as he stops, he rolls down the window and spits outside on the road. How disgusting is that? Mind you, not every time the driver is the chauffer, so many times he is the owner himself! Now if somebody is so prosperous that he can afford a Honda City, why can’t his thoughts and behavior be equally prosperous? Why don’t such people think twice before doing such dirty things?

Another common example is that of a mother taking her child to pee right on to the road! WOW, if mothers themselves encourage such behavior then obviously the kid is going to grow up learning wrong things. No wonder we get to see so many grownups also doing the same thing and mind you, they don’t need any quiet corners, just a wall is enough and many a times, even the wall is not necessary!!

I understand that our country lacks infrastructure and basic public amenities. But somebody somewhere has to find a way out. And each one of us says, WHY ME?? If we can’t do anything in a way that can change the country, we should at least be doing something in a smaller way like following discipline. If all the citizens of this country are determined to do so, India will definitely be the best places!

There are so many there examples that each one of us does everyday – like throwing bits of paper on the road. That reminds me of one classic example – and a recurring one – a commuter is sitting comfortably by the window in a local train. He has a nice backpack or a laptop bag with him. He is munching on to some chips and is really enjoying eating! As soon as he is done, he promptly throws the empty wrapper outside the running train. DISGUSTING!!! Instead, he could have just folded the wrapper and kept it in this bag till he comes across a garbage bin, but who wants to do that?

There is no point in blaming the country and the ruling, or for that matter non-ruling party for lack of infrastructure. The biggest question is how well the citizens of this country are going to be able to preserve and develop that infrastructure once that is provided. It’s a shame to see such things happening in metros like Mumbai but these things happen every day, every moment! We are lucky enough to have an opportunity to get educated then why do we forget our education so soon?

How common is it to see that the traffic signal at a junction turns red and none of the cars jump the signal? Very UNCOMMON, right? Why can’t we learn something from other countries where all the citizens follow traffic rules religiously? Over there, vehicles halt each time the traffic signal turns red, no matter if there is no pedestrian crossing the road! We like to use imported electronics, clothes and what not, then why can’t we imbibe some imported discipline in ourselves

I would love to see my country following the same discipline, but the question is who will do that? Being a responsible citizen, each one of us should step forward and take a pledge that we will do something to improvise the civic sense in our country. If we can’t change the entire country, which is obviously difficult and almost impossible, we can at least change ourselves for better. And if each one of us changes, INDIA will change for better.

DREAM INDIA. BETTER INDIA.