By Dr.Aarati Bhandare
How many times do we hear people say that what’s the use of your education if you wake up every morning and litter on the streets and a man or woman probably your parent’s age cleans it up.?
I only read them on WhatsApp and Facebook memes until recently I came across this group of senior citizens, retired from their office work. This was probably the time they waited all their life to settle down finally, get rid of all responsibilities and enjoy retired life. But no, they took up an even bigger job at hand which does not fetch them name, fame and definitely not money.
Our city Belagavi is beyond beautiful. Despite the heavy concretization, it still has the essence of green and plenty of blue in it. The vaccine depot ground and Subhash Chandra Bose ground is a visual treat with age-old trees, people of all ages playing their hearts out, strollers and many more.
But of late, some elements of the society have been damaging this portrait and how?
*littering and urinating under the huge trees in the open
*throwing beer bottles, visible to the children who play there
*discard pictures, idols, and frames of deities.
*spit on the benches meant to be used for citizens.
Unfortunately, a larger chunk of these was between the age group 30 to 45.
Many measures were taken by the concerned, media coverage, etc but all in vain. Finally, a group of men(names hidden on request) took up this Herculean task of
*reinstating broken idols and frames back on the trees and fence.
*performing pooja on it
*watering the trees around the area
*making arrangement for a bird bath and feeders
*cleaning the benches, pan tobacco laden.
*sweeping the road off dried leaves and other litter.
*making people aware of literally joining hands in request to keep the place clean.
These men are probably my father’s age! I hail them now, but what do they get out of it?. Noting at all. Their Nobel act put youth like me in shame and hence I decided to cover this issue.
Is this the way we treat our own city Belagavi?
Is this the way we conduct ourselves?
Does it not hurt to see a white-bearded retired man, wearing a mask to curb the smell of urine emanating, clean the area suitable to seat?
How would a teetotaller feel to collect broken bottles and cigarette buds from the ground and dispose of it safely?
Time to think and act!