Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spitting Stains: We need Change!

You may be reading this at the uber cosmopolitan and the financial capital of India, Mumbai or in a small remote village lacking in even the most basic amenities in Bihar but there are high chances, you will find one sight very common at both the places! That is the ugly scene of people spitting here and there! Yes, to see people spit has to be one of the most familiar sights, no matter in which part of India you find yourself in.

Spitting Stains like these are so common in India

I vividly remember my apathy at my previous place of residence. Taking it's steps in the mornings, evenings or afternoons as a kid was quite an ordeal in itself. A red carpet welcome awaited me, every single day! The sad part, of course being that this welcome was neither pleasing nor was it appealing in any way! Add to that the foul smell, ewwww!! A thick mat of red colored stains was all I could see, at the sides of the staircase as well as in the small lobby. I used to feel disgusted and nauseated and would almost muffle myself while climbing up to reach my 3rd floor flat. Today, many years later I cant help but wonder why our society never took any steps to do something about it! Was it so difficult for people to learn about one of the basic lessons of our Moral science classes? Or was it plain carelessness on the part of all?

But then again, to think that this problem exists only in residential complexes would be naive. I have visited post offices, posh commercial complexes, banks and once even a police station (now before you all get your brains raking, I was there for getting my 10th standard mark sheet attested!)... Wherever I have been, I have observed and come to the conclusion that the problem of spitting and spit stains is basically everywhere.

Spitting tarnishes the image of our country as foreigners visiting OUR country India are horror-struck at the sight and I am sure, we all have noticed the disgust on their faces when they come across someone spraying the scarlet colored liquid out of the mouth. Besides cleanliness of course, it is an attack on the health of all, the citizens! Spitting can spread germs and cause grim health troubles. Tuberculosis or TB virus can easily be transmitted when a person suffering from it coughs, sneezes or spits!!

People have the habit of chewing paan, gutkha and masala (a mixture of suparis, gutkha and chuna) then spit it out freely. Interestingly enough, the very posters on buses and trains encouraging people against tobacco chewing are not spared by these uncivilized mass of rowdies either!

It’s an addiction, a ‘chalta hai’ habit that has rooted itself deep in the veins of our country, to say the least! Every hour, every minute, every second whenever someone insults our mother earth by spitting, we lose our dignity one strain more and my heart cringes to think of it! But it's not only the chewers who are at fault. We, the rest of the junta are equally to blame. How often have we ignored such sights by moving on and then forgetting all about it the very next moment? Ask yourself…

In such a scenario, the only call of the hour ..is CHANGE – Change in the mindset of not only the people spitting their hearts out but also the people watching it happen!

One of the many options which I have seen work very well is putting up images of Gods and Goddesses on the side walls of the buildings. This easily scares people from spitting there. Putting up spittoons at government offices, parks and other places on the roads or launching of massive anti-spitting drives and raising awareness in people might also help the case in the positive direction.

Fines like these do seem to have some effect

A few years back, the Bombay High Court touched upon this issue of spitting. "It (spitting) is an inherent character of our people. See the road. See the high court (building). There is a tendency among our Indian people," said Justice Majmudar. "It is difficult in our country. You cannot introduce any change," he had added. It is definitely tough, I agree but it has to start somewhere, someday... isn't it? Then, why not begin it right now... with 'YOU and ME?'

Together, with combined efforts and a bit of responsibility, we can surely do our bit to stop this red venom from spreading!

So, next time you see that rickshaw driver spit or your next door uncleji red-coat the building walls, stand up and raise your voice! Tell them, this is a public property and get them some water to clean it up! It is definitely not that hard and standing for the right is never wrong. Not every attempt of yours might bear fruit, not every positive action might meet with an equally positive reaction but for every step you take, and for every person you change, mother earth and humanity will surely bless you manifold! It's high time we stopped cribbing and started acting... Are you game???

PS - This contest is written for the Time to Change contest on IndiBlogger.

PPS - Images are courtesy,
1. http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m72/mpurchiaroni/World Trip/India/Trains and Stations/
2. http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4117/4884060305_245fd32c6f_z.jpg

If you like my post you can Promote it here - Spitting Stains: We need Change!


T F Carthick said...

Very well written, DS. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Gayathri said...

A very thought provoking post..and yes this one of the most irritating and disgusting issues in our country!! Very well written! All the best to win the competition :)

Antara said...

Small things add up to big changes.
I think it's the attitude which is the problem. "It's only a spit", "someone'll clean it", "what's the big deal about a stain on the wall of stupid building!"
This attitude is killing our country. Just like small deeds of good adds up to huge success, these small deeds of bad leads to us going backwards.

DS said...

@ The Fool
Glad you liked it.
Its a serious problem indeed.

DS said...

@ Gayathri
Yes, one of the most disgusting habits of our country.
Thanks for the comment and the wishes.

DS said...

@ Antara
Very well said Antara, very well said. It is indeed the pathetic attitude of our people coupled with the ineffectiveness of our government, that it is so difficult to reverse the situation.

N.S.Kirti said...

A change that really needs to brought up in our country DS. its not only residential areas and public places, you see people spitting on roads and trains. One of the reasons why i HATE travelling in local trains.
And it is true, when we desire for something, however big, a small step is all we need to initiate it.
well written post DS.

Geet said...

really v need change ...nice post!! all d best!

Princess Poo said...

A very important issue you have taken up DS ;).
I have seen this so many times.
I wish someone would actually take up the responsibility but no one.
Once I scolded some elder person for spitting and he almost hit me. My parents had to take me away saying DONT TALK. LET THEM DO WHAT THEY WANT. See this is the case. This is why all the STAINS never leave and nothing ever Changes :| :(.

Awesome post DS :)

DS said...

@ NS Kirti
Yeah, a small step is needed and some efforts from our side. Change can then happen.

DS said...

@ Geet
Thanks Geeta.

DS said...

@ Princess Poo
At least you tried Pooja, there are scores of us who dont even try. And the precise reason is because in India, the guilty party instead of apologising starts attacking us verbally or physically.
Sad state of affairs but we must keep trying.

Rohan Shankar said...

Unless we get a change in attitude, nothing is going to work. They spat on my father's car once, and got away with some traffic policeman connection. My father had to retouch the paint, which cost Rs.3000. All for the spit.

DS said...

@ Rohan Shankar
That is all we need Rohan, but changing attitude is the biggest problem.
Its sad your father had to shell out 3000 just for a spit.

C. Suresh said...

Superbly written DS!