Creating Accountable Citizens - the panacea for all social problems starting from Cleanliness

Creating Accountable Citizens - the panacea for all social problems starting from Cleanliness

India is the proof of many things right from the amazing spiritual wisdom to the filth that you find on the road side. Diversity not only in positive...

India is the proof of many things right from the amazing spiritual wisdom to the filth that you find on the road side. Diversity not only in positive aspects of human life but also in the aspects like corruption, crime and cruelty.

Similarly the civic sense that we can feel among Indians do has got so much diversity. The best example - rather the roaring proof - for our ability to detach filth from being spiritual is the place called Vaaranaasi - the Mahaa Smashaanam.

As I started pondering over our behaviour towards having civic sense I realised the following as the factors influencing the current state of civic sense in India:

I am fine and my home is clean
It is the job of the municipality
Municipal staff can not change so the status quo continues
Even if I complain it is hardly heard so no point in making any complaint.
We get what we deserve including the clean environments and govt services.
This is the land of Karma and ignoring cleanliness is also a Karma
Nothing can change here as it is destined to be like this.
I focus on my self development and you better do the same
We need to suffer like this as it is written in our destiny
There are several live examples that we can find in our day to day life for the above reasons. A home maker throwing her domestic waste on the vacant plot over the compound wall is a common scene.

Schools like DAV, Bhashyam School and Bhashyam Brooks in Hyderabad are the best examples of civic sense possessed by the Educational Institutions. The roads either leading to their schools or just opposite to them are in a pathetic condition since several months/ years, yet no school make a complaint to the Municipal Body and draw the attention. Some schools like Bhashyam Brooks built speed breakers on the road leading to their main gate in such a manner that any passer-by will feel their impact on the vertebra. This is the height of their civic sense as an Educational Institution.

The daily commuters the IT employees and the parents of the School going children do not wish to make any complaint as they found it to be useless and waste of their precious time. Even the children of the Municipal staff do not wish to make any complaint to their parents!! The Govt Officers not related to the Municipal Administration do not want to embarrass their fellow govt staff serving the Municipal Body since their work places do match with the current state of affairs.

These are just indicative factors for insignificant civic sense that prevails among us as Indians. Swachcha Bharat call given by Mr. Modi is being mocked in the initial days by film stars governors cleaning their own homes and posing for the media as contributors to the clean India campaign. Unless we bring in accountability for each and every citizen we can not achieve the dream of Cleanest India.

How can we bring in this Accountability?

Create Clean India Court (CIC) for each locality in India by making the most active senior citizens of that locality as its judges on rotation the number of judges shall be note more than 5. No fee/remuneration for this the place of the court shall be any house chosen by that locality people.

Each municipal employee is first a citizen hence he/she is very much included in the list of citizens.

Publish the details of the municipal/ govt employees who are assigned a particular locality and the CIC must have this list along with the list of residents.

Each resident (of a house / flat of an apartment / owner of any business unit) is accountable for ensuring clean surroundings (Tenants can not pass on this to their land lords). If a locality is not clean, any citizen out side this locality or a member of the CIC can complain to the Clean India Court. The Clean India Court can impose suitable penalty on the non-complying citizens / municipal staff and this shall be collected by the CIC itself and used for locality development.

It is the responsibility of the Municipal Staff and the residents to ensure avenue plantation, green cover and protection of water bodies, Temples/ religious places, availability of percolation pits in their locality.

This is just one of the suggestions that can be thought of to ensure civic sense among Indians. Unfortunately the Vedic tenet Cleanliness is next to Godliness is not taken in its true spirit and our Vedic culture gifted us many things like Madi for doing puja and cooking food which is a material equivalent to HACCP certification for any food processing unit. We indulge more in bashing our Vedic Culture than adopting the simple, highly scientific and rational norms that our Sanathana Dharma prescribed for us to lead a joyful and purposeful life.

A citizen in Hyderabad

Dr. IVNS Raju
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