Early in the morning a Paurakarmika stands near my gate and calls. I peep out. "Amma, coffeeg enadru kodtheera?" (Will you give something for coffee?). She asks.
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I bend over the gate and show her the foot path and the drain. "Idanella yaar clean madowru? Regularag clean madidre enadru kodbahudu." (Who is supposed to clean all this? If you do this work then I could give you something). I say.
"Mori clean madowru berevru barthaare." She says. I feel a bit annoyed. She pushes all the muck that is on the foot path into the drain and walks away sulking. The three garbage bags that my daughter-in-law and I collect from within the house still lie there on the foot path. The three wheeler ‘karmika’ has not come as yet.
It is nearing 10 AM. One lady with a wheelbarrow to sweep the roads and footpath, another person with a helper in a three wheeler to collect the bags kept by the houses, another gang of people to clean the drain once in a way.
How much man-power is wasted over this ‘Mahanagara Palike’ for ‘Swachcha Bengaluru?’ If we as citizens have to dole out money for all these ‘karmikas’ every month, we need to start an account for it. In spite of all these (un)coordinated arrangements, the garbage collected at the street corners remains there for almost half a day with street dogs, crows and rag picker scattering them all around.
Many times, to avoid all these hurdles I carry the garbage myself and walk the distance to the corner of the road looking out for the ‘garbage lorry’. If it is not there, then I have no alternative. Where do I dump the bags? I can’t be one of those callous citizens who will just dump the things anywhere. I quickly retrace my steps back home and leave it at my back yard to do the chores for the next day. I have to reach my work place before ten and it is already late.
This is not a one day’s story. This occurs every other day and I try my best not to get worked up. I should not be quoting examples from the West and say, ‘In America it is done like this’, ‘In Singapore it is done this way’. Why can’t we do it? I really do not know whether we can afford their way of ‘garbage disposal system’ neither do I do not know whether we have ever attempted to change.
What can we do?