Thursday, 25 September 2014

On Shramdaan and Cleanliness

Plastics are nonbiodegradable. Our brains are biodegradable. What is more valuable?

The 89th FC batch expended some energy in cleaning the academy campus and the adjoining areas. Funnily enough one finds this exercise more tiring than the regular PT. The exercise was that of Shramdaan. The OTs were given a broom or a large bag and asked to clean up the academy area, concentrating on ridding the campus of plastic wastes. We did our best. It was heartening to see the OTs sweep the dead leaves and dried dung off the ground and a host of others try to hunt down bits and pieces of plastic and gather them. Gather them we did, till there were a good number of garbage bags filled with plastic waste. One was amazed to note the amount of plastic waste found in just a patch of ground 100 ft by 10 ft. The marketer in me noted the fact that the chewing gum and chips of snack food category are doing a good job in terms of distribution. However, I was incensed at the consumers who threw away the wrappers by the road sides and in to the campus in a callous manner. The marketers need to rethink packaging and they need to do it at war footing. If a small stretch of land with sparse population can produce so much waste, I shudder to think of the magnitude of waste (particularly nonbiodegradable waste) being generated by the megapolises and metropolises of this country. 

Shramdaan showcased the dignity of labour in the civil servants. It was a heartening sight to see the faculty and the OTs out on the roads and clearing the area of plastic waste in earnest. The devotion with which all of us participated in the activity must need to be shown in daily life. Only through our devotion to cleanliness and in a larger sense our ownership of our environment can we be godly.

There are efforts afoot to cleanse the country, initiated by the present dispensation. The cleaning has to be material as well as spiritual and therefore the cleaning of Ganga makes sense at two levels. Hopefully we will be morally clean too, soon.

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