Personal habit : Too lazy to dispose waste in the bin, in many cases it is just flung away. Social Apathy: Avoid ‘panga’ with anybody. Most of us do not even bother to raise an objection to littering / spitting in public places. Sub standard and unmaintained Garbage Cans installed by Municipal Bodies : Who wants to even get close to them? Garbage Can thefts : What can we do, then? Helpless Municipal workers : Inadequate infrastructure Waste management / Recycling : Almost non-existent. BOTTOM LINE IT WILL REMAIN UNCLEAN, TILL HABITS DO NOT CHANGE
1. Students are taught the importance of Cleanliness. Have they truly assimilated what they have been taught? Does it reflect in their actions? How do they react to people littering in public places? Bitter truth : We are all immune to dirt around us 2. Students made to clean school premises as part of their practical learning. What really is achieved from this activity? Apart from that one day, has it made any difference within or out of the school premises? Bitter Truth : Students only enjoy time off. 3. NGO initiated cleanliness drives. Is this done on a sustained basis? Who are the participants in such drives? Bitter Truth : Only a temporary relief from litter
4. Influential people / groups come on streets with brooms. Bitter Truth : How long can they continue? 5. Social activists organize rallies against Municipal Bodies. Bitter Truth : Short lived success for the activists; * Garbage still dumped carelessly; * Limited infrastructure with the Municipality 6. Fines are introduced for littering / spitting etc. Bitter Truth : Who enforces the ‘Fines’? * Do we see Sanitation Inspectors anywhere? * Would it not be seen as giving rise to harassment and corruption?
1. Let’s Stop Tolerating 2. Let’s Start Bothering 3. Let’s Make a Collective Effort 4. Let’s Start REACTING to SOCIAL MISCONDUCT 5. Let’s live ‘Gandhigiri’ or ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’
Pick it up and throw it in the trash can in front of him, with a smile. After few instances the ‘offender’ will feel ashamed of his misconduct and change his habit. GANDHIGIRI As in Film Lage Raho Munnabhai Stop them with a smile, make them pick it up & throw it in a trash can themselves ‘Offender’ feels ashamed of being made to pick up himself, may drop the undesirable habit of littering in the first or second occurrence itself. SARDAR PATELBAAZI As in Children’s Film Let’s Change
REACT TO LITTERING Students to be ‘Town Monitors’ in charge of stopping and dissuading people from littering by reacting with ‘Gandhigiri’ or ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’. Littering will eventually stop as even habitual ‘offenders’ will experience objections and reactions to their misconduct anywhere and everywhere. THE EMBARRASSED OFFENDER An adult ‘offender’ would be embarrassed being told off in public by school children. He / she would refrain from littering and may perhaps, in turn, dissuade other ‘offenders’ as well. GANDHIGIRI AND/OR SARDAR PATELBAAZI Individuals would inculcate the habit of reacting to social misconduct and gain confidence in taking up the crusade against filth. A subsequent mass movement would eradicate the undesirable habit of littering any and everywhere
It is important that children develop the habit of objecting and supporting objections to Social Misconduct. Given responsibility as ‘Monitors’, children themselves will refrain from littering in public places, reducing the number of people littering instantly. Adults tend to encourage Students Social Initiatives With a large number of ‘Monitors’, littering will be objected to at many places, individually or in groups. It would almost be impossible to throw waste without being watched by at least one of the ‘Monitors’, as some or the other student is bound to be around every place. Students form a large number
1. Human Chain, of like-minded people united to keep the surroundings clean, by actively practicing and spreading the idea of reacting to littering with ‘Gandhigiri’ or ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’. 2. Mute spectators will start opening up and objecting to littering once they witness the crusade against filth 3. Many will walk the few meters to dispose waste properly and the number of people littering will decrease considerably. 4. Garbage will get disposed at designated places and get less scattered, making it easier for Municipal workers to carry it away. 5. Municipal Bodies will be compelled to take necessary action sooner than they are habituated to. 6. Clean, green surroundings, and the benefits that go with them
14 Schools participated and groups of students stopped people from littering streets for 1 hour a day. Many continue ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’. Roadside vendors and shops started placing a dustbin outside their premises in working hours. People started calling the Municipal Corporation to get Garbage dumps emptied, if not done. Municipal Corporation regulated the process of maintaining Garbage dumps and has started installing Garbage Cans at regular distances. Though yet to get a complete makeover, people are REACTING to LITTERING, improving the overall cleanliness situation considerably.
Gujarat Secondary & Higher Secondary Education Board recommended schools to join Project Let’s Change. Schools were sent details to encourage students to REACT with ‘Gandhigiri’ or ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’. Many schools participated with rallies propagating the message encouraging people to REACT to littering. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation moved to introduce penalizing offenders found littering. Many schools have agreed to regularly read out a ‘Circular’ prepared by us to encourage students for starting to REACT with ‘Gandhigiri’ or ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’ and help WIPE OUT the HABIT of LITTERING.
Media being approached to back the activity and create awareness to increase participation in Let’s Change Movement. A fun film for children titled Let’s Change produced to encourage students for the activity. Central and State Education Boards being approached to recommend and communicate with schools affiliated to the respective Boards. Schools individually approached have started confirming to join Let’s Change movement. Circular prepared to be read out to students. Schools will be requested to spare 5 minutes daily for the circular reading and / or subsequent discussion for sharing experiences of dissuading people from littering / spitting. We hope to start with a large number of ‘Monitors’ and keep it ever increasing throughout India, till the habit of littering gets eradicated.
From the experiences in Gujarat: 1. This has to be a relentless mass movement with regular follow up and reports at least till a critical mass of like- minded individuals is achieved. 2. This movement has to be taken up extremely seriously at school level. Schools should ensure students champion the cause in order to broad base it as well as to make it effective. 3. Every student needs to be encouraged to be a change agent and actively practice Gandhigiri or Sardar Patelbaazi. 4. The crusade against filth needs to be widely showcased for more and more people to adapt to Gandhigiri or Sardar Patelbaazi, especially those skeptical about seeing any change for the better in our country.
Will you just shake your head and think ‘Is desh mein kuch badal nahi sakta’ Or Are you willing to be one of the change agents yourself? If yes, then 1. You yourself start REACTING with ‘Gandhigiri’ or ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’ on witnessing anybody littering. 2. Regularly post your experiences on social networking sites, tagging Let’s Change. 3. Help us coax people. Send a short audio / video message to encourage people, schools and the media to participate in the Let’s Change Movement of creating maximum ‘Monitors’ REACTING to littering with ‘Gandhigiri’ or ‘Sardar Patelbaazi’