I love my morning walks. I enjoy the birds chirping, the greenery, the flowers and the crows cawing and flying. It is unfortunate that some times we are forced to come across some annoying and disgusting sights as well. For example, people talking loudly on their mobiles and men peeing on the road-side. I am always wary of any cyclist who goes past a little too close to me. Though I do not wear too many pieces of jewellery, I do hide the chain I wear within my dress and close it with a duppatta as well. The other day, I was unnerved when a cyclist whizzed past me, did a circle and stood at the footpath where I was walking. I walked fast and looked back. No, he was just another harmless cyclist, but he was doing both that which annoyed and disgusted me. He was talking aloud on his cell phone and also peeing on the footpath. Most obnoxious! I felt cheated of enjoying all the beauty of nature around me. How dare he spoil my beautiful morning!
Until a few years ago, whenever I heard a ‘Hello’ behind me, I would turn around to see if it was any of my friends. Now a days, there are any number of people on the roads saying ‘Hello’ so loudly into their cell phones, that I often miss wishing my real friends as I avoid turning and looking back.
The BBMP three-wheelers have loud-speakers trying to educate citizens by announcements of not throwing garbage on the roads, requesting them to hand it over to the trolley, or just leave them in packed garbage bags in front of their houses. But this does not work all the time. The garbage bags are left in front of the houses till 10.00 AM sometimes because of the fights between the drivers and his helper with the road-sweeping-paurakarmikas. The crows and street dogs have a field day with the bags.
It is sad that we Indians have become thick skinned to the non-existent civic sense of our populace, and prefer to suffer in silence. I wish the screaming BBMP employees would also scream at the men peeing on the road-sides. They should be caught by the collars and fined heavily.
I remember reading an article written by Khushwant Singh in which he said that he would often hide on his balcony which faced a small lane, with a basket full of small stones. He would throw the pellets at every man who stood there to pee or empty his bowels shamelessly. In spite of setting up of a number of ‘Sulabh’ toilets, people would rather take the advantage of the road side and not venture to enter those facilities.
I really am not sure how this problem can be solved. Even if we do find a solution, who will bell the cat? That is the question.
I haven’t seen any lady peeing on the streets, inspite of the existing poor infrastructure. So why men and at all times of the day?
While I agree that people who have toilets at home have no business to use the roads, many urban slum dwellers do not have toilets at home. Sulabh toilets are pay per use..if a family has 5 members and each of them need to use it 4 times a day, that is 20 rs/family/day which would be unaffordable to most. It is particularly hard on the women.There are no easy answers.
I rather love the idea of pelting people who pee on the streets. They have no damn business doing it and I’d be more than happy to pelt some out of it.