StopIndiaSpitting: Rallies taken out in Bengaluru

(Picture used for representational purpose only)
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(Picture used for representational purpose only)

Highlights

Beautiful Bengaluru wants to take up the StopIndiaSPitting movement on a national level after seeing encouraging results in Bengaluru. On the third day of the 4-day campaign towards creating awareness, they took out a rally in the city urging people not to spit in public places.

Bengaluru: Beautiful Bengaluru wants to take up the StopIndiaSPitting movement on a national level after seeing encouraging results in Bengaluru. On the third day of the 4-day campaign towards creating awareness, they took out a rally in the city urging people not to spit in public places.

The team along with other supporting NGOs in the city, carried an awareness drive through different parts of the Bengaluru raising slogans 'Don't Spit' and educating the public about the impacts of spitting.

On the third day, the team traversed through the busy streets of Russel Market and Shivajinagar bus stop distributing stickers stating 'Don't Spit' in Kannada. Motor vehicle drivers were stopped and stickers were stuck on the windshields of their cars.

The Pune-based NGO, Sare Jahan Se Acha did a car rally from Vidhana Soudha to Shivajinagar with the vehicle displaying messages against spitting. Coincidentally, the Pune-based NGO has been championing the same cause under a different banner; SpitKill since the advent of the SARS virus. The most important aspect of this movement for Beautiful Bengaluru is to create an impact in the minds of the public about spitting. "Instead of people who don't spit looking in the other direction, they must tell others not to spit". says Odette Katrak.

"It is not enough for this to be a city event. We need to make it into a national-level campaign" said Odette Katrak. Odette added that there is still a stigma even talking about spitting. Several people refuse to address the issue deeming it a 'disgusting topic'. Odette asks how can you make a change without talking about it? She also added that there is a superstition about spit being unhealthy for the body.

The StopIndiaSpitting movement has been championing the case since the beginning of the pandemic. "We even send a petition to PM asking to address the issue of spitting and it was spoken about in Man ki Baat," said Odette Katrak. The movement also led towards BBMP creating posters stating 'Don't Spit'.

The movement gained momentum when Odette's teenage daughter picked up a ball from the ground and it was covered in spit. Feeling disgusted by the experience, Odette realised the harmful impacts of spitting but the Covid-pandemic raised its emergency level. Speaking about fining offenders, Odette says that "In a country of this size, awareness has to come first. Enforcement can never be enough in itself, signs to create awareness have to be made." She also added that in the Arrivals area of Bengaluru International Airport, due to the efforts of Beautiful Bengaluru, signs against spitting have been put up.

Following the success of the movement, several other foundations have come together to make it a larger event. The support of NGOs like Hasiru Dala, Namma Bengaluru Foundation, Rotary Club has also garnered the cause further attention.

"In the district, there are about 100 Rotary clubs and each community has one. If each club makes an effort, the efforts are multiplied. This way we can reach out to the entire city easily" says Kashinath Prabhu, President, Rotary Bangalore Lakeside.

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