When I visit places, I usually like to observe the place – the surroundings, the environment, the people… You get the drift.
On one such visit, on a gloomy, overcast Sunday morning to Lalbagh Botanical garden… Wait, this was a quite special occasion- I had gone to see the flower show there! Moving on, reaching Lalbagh early in the morning did not achieve the purpose it was supposed to ie; let us avoid the crowds. But we trudged on- a party of 7 people, namely my parents, uncle, aunt, cousin, my sister and me.
The flower show was quite beautiful, the main exhibit being that of the Bangalore Palace and a display of the Mysore Maharajahs. OK, I digress.
Getting straight to the point, after seeing all the exhibits there were to see, my dad and I walked back to the small mountain we had encountered as we entered the garden, and a truly dismal sight met us- garbage strewn everywhere. Plastic, paper, glass…. It was like they were competing for the title of “most strewn garbage”.
And as if that wasn’t good enough, our dearly beloved Bengalurians had made a game out of it. What they did was this – once they saw a plastic bottle on the hill’s rocky surface, they kicked it all the way down – or of they wanted some challenge, they kicked it all the way up!
The ones who weren’t playing this particular game contributed to the process of providing the game players with their equipment – the garbage. And those who did not participate in either, steadfastly ignored the proceedings, turned a blind eye.. Whatever suits your boat!
Though my narrative may make it seem like quite a trivial issue. It is not. Throwing garbage on the street is never OK. And it is especially not OK if you are in a well renowned garden which is home for many rare birds and insects.
Of course, it is clear from their actions that they do not particularly care about how awry our environment is, but they must, surely care about a garden which is part of their City, their home! If they do not care, then it is the duty of the authorities and fellow citizens to make them care.
I am not one who only harps on about the issues we face, rather I look for solutions too. And this is the solution I propose.
Along with noticing that these people played with Garbage, I also noticed that the authorities there kept sending remote controlled drones to hover above the hill, the garden and all the tourists.
It is clear that the authorities there are not just warming their seats, but are doing their jobs, so my suggestion is not one of imposing fines on the wrongdoers (our country is plagued with enough corruption as it is). I suggest social service. These people should be made to pick up the Garbage that they so carelessly flung on the ground and deposit it in any one of the numerous dustbins present all around the garden. And we should not limit them to depositing only their Garbage, but do some solid cleaning around in the garden for a set period of time.
I believe that this solution, if implemented will surely be effective, because
1) it has worked before (in many countries)
2) our people are inherently lazy and will do anything to avoid work and so imposing social service on them when they break the rules will make them think twice before they do!
While I am talking only about Lalbagh Botanical garden, it is not the only place where people carelessly throw litter and mar our beautiful City. But it has to start somewhere… So let it be our prized garden itself, huh?