Thursday, May 08, 2014

C – Community Culture

This is one thing that I wish we as Indians had. (This is no way related to the word ‘communal’ and how it has been exploited by everyone be it politicians or media or so called thinkers).
India is a diverse county with people from many different communities and culture living together. However there is very little sense of ‘community culture’ that you see. We do not interact and collaborate on things that matter to us together as a group and which can be really addressed only if all of us stand as one.

At the municipality /town / area or even at our own residential complex level, we can form groups and work for development. We need not wait for NGOs to do it or lament that government agencies do nothing; we should be in a position to get them to do their work. I have seen people not being bothered if something does not impact them directly but it’s such a short sighted view, sooner or later, that same thing will come back and haunt you as well. As long as our house is clean, we do not bother about throwing garbage anywhere else be it on roads or someone else’s house. Even educated people do not have awareness of the same.

In developed countries, you hear about so many things that people are involved it. Ordinary citizens form groups and meet with local government officers with the needs of the community and how it can be met. Since we as Indians are not united together and do not think of ourselves as a single group which rises or falls together, our voices are not even heard by the establishment. The maximum sense of social responsibility that we seem to have is to vote (Fyi, elections are in progress here) and that too is done by less than 50% of the population. I know there are a lot of loopholes in the system but unless and until we raise our voices together, no one is going to come and close these loopholes.

Couple of things that I think we can definitely work together on and whose results can be seen pretty soon:
-          First and foremost, before we begin to work as a community, we need to learn to respect and be thoughtful of each other and appreciate our cultural or religious differences.
-          Cleanliness is one thing we need to focus on immediately. We need to ourselves be more aware about it and ensure our family is too. If our parents or kids or spouse or friends are throwing things on the road and not inside the dustbin, we need to keep on pointing it out, till they get it.  We don’t really need Govt to form rules and laws for everything.
-          Let our family know the importance of conserving natural resources like water or even things like electricity, paper, plastic, et all. 
-          Encourage everyone to recycle and reuse. Make do with one tissue instead of 2 or even better use your own handkerchiefs.
-          At our residential society or apartment level, we can work together and try to keep it clean.
-          We can try some volunteer work – teach your maid / their kids / organize cloth donation and other similar drives in your society / visit old age homes, orphanages and spend time. I do see a lot of around doing it now, however we still have a long way to go.
-          We need to work together and draw attention of everyone to the issues that we are facing and raise it to concerned Govt departments


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