As small a gesture as carrying a litter bag can make a big difference

As they say, we tend to take our parents for granted. In her latest blog post, my wife Alka Dwivedi talks about how she has observed my mother always carrying a litter bag wherever she goes so that whenever she has to throw small stuff like paper wrappings, sachets and banana and orange peels, in case a garbage can is not nearby, she keeps putting everything inside the litter bag and then either brings the bag home (to throw it in the garbage) or empties it in case she finds a garbage can on her way.

Littering at our public places is not just a small nuisance, it is almost like an epidemic. Whether people are walking on the pavements or travelling in a Mercedes-Benz, they don’t even give a 2nd thought before throwing an empty box of chips, fruit peels, empty bottles or whatever they feel like throwing on the road, just like that.

I remember an incident: we were waiting in line at a McDonald’s drive-in in the Atta Market, NOIDA. Ahead of us was a big car (during those days seeing such big cars wasn’t a common sight). I don’t know what happened inside the car, a woman quickly rolled down the windows and threw empty milkshake paper cups and empty fast food boxes bang in front of the window where orders are taken. The family sitting in the car littered the very drive-in ramp from where they were purchasing burgers or whatever. Only a total disconnected, zombie mentality can drive people to act in such a manner. Even the person at the window was aghast. They drove away before anybody could recover and react.

And that is not an isolated incident. I have often seen youngsters — who act very aware and hep otherwise — throwing wrappers and empty bottles with total disregard as if it’s not a city but a dump yard.

Cary A Bag can be turned into a good campaign. People should be encouraged to carry a litter bag. Since it is very easy to carry litter bags — in fact, a good way of recycling polythene bags — people can carry multiple bags so that they can also be given to people who are not carrying their own bags.

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?

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