FIN Musing while talking dreams of Clean Towns and Cities

FIN musings.

I was walking with Shanmugan recently in Chennai and I was telling him how people usually react when I speak about what we are doing in FIN. But then, I had to shut up. This is why….


Can we motivate behavioural change for a Clean India?

“Of course, you can’t,”
Said the lady on the platform,
“Why are you wasting your time?”

“Change your focus”
Said the NGO man,
“Teach children – not adults”

“It’s simply not possible”
Said the man in the market,
“What we need are big trucks – not these rusty cycles to collect the trash”

“You don’t see the source of the problem”
Said the activist-journalist,
“It is obviously rooted in caste and gender politics”

“Ma’am, it’s too early to change anything through action”
Said the pretty student,
“We need to first start conversations about the problem on facebook, twitter and blogs”

Then suddenly we saw this old man,
in a city street filled with litter.
Around his modest house,
there was a pristine green glitter,
with bright leaved plants of every hue of green,
being watered by their sitter.

“Thank you”,
Said he,
“It’s really not that difficult.
Every morning I clean the street picking up the rubbish.
I don’t know much about caste. And gender? Well, I help my wife with chores every day.
I don’t have a phone, but I can give you my son’s number.
No, I haven’t tried to start conversations on my garden.
I just do it.
I love plants.
To show them respect, the environment must be clean.
No, I am not rich. Anyone can keep a street clean.
You must want it. You must want a beautiful environment in the first place.”

Yes, Sir, you are right. If we all want a clean India badly enough – it will happen.

**Noted on January 4, 2018 in Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Besant Nagar, Chennai.

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