Civic sense: Change begins with me
To keep our surroundings clean is our responsibility, say our readers stressing that each individual is responsible to maintain it. Their practical suggestions to combat this threat of our lack of civic sense is self-awareness first, involvement of government and other bodies be it to pass laws and its strict implementation and levying fines on offenders or starting a keep your city clean campaign, more public restrooms at regular intervals and dustbins. But they stress the fact that for a clean city to be realised, citizens as individuals have to be earnestly invested in the idea
It’s sad to say that I often spit and litter on the roads unconsciously. So to change things in society and our country, I should begin with myself first. I should be self-conscious and refrain myself from doing so. Yes, if there was just a nominal fine or penalty for littering the streets, I would hesitate and think twice before I spit because I wouldn’t want to break the law. And if dustbins were easily accessible in public places, I would certainly use them instead of littering the streets.
We can see people littering and peeing in public places that too in and around big cities. It is a shameful act which does not suit a civilised society. First of all, people do not litter their surroundings if they are aware of the consequences. Secondly, if they have availability of dumping containers and sufficient public toilets, they won’t pee or litter indiscriminately. Finally, the appropriate rules, strict implementation and monitoring would reduce this problem.
Besides these, every child and student should be taught public place etiquette from their childhood, only then will this problem come to an end.
— Aashma Budathoki, Lubhoo
Certainly this is not the way for any civilised citizen to behave; unfortunately these nasty activities are repeatedly done. In fact, this is one of the major problems of our country which requires to be sorted out soon because it has led to environmental pollution. Undoubtedly, we have also done such activities a number of times. Perhaps, most of us are still doing the same. Unless we realise this nasty behaviour of ours that has led to the serious problems of environmental pollution, the matter cannot be solved.
Firstly, we should promise to ourselves that we will not commit such activities. If the feeling of realisation, regret, and apology sinks in every person, then the result would be so much more than we expect. Knowing that children are the clay which takes the shape of the pot shaped by the potter, they must be taught about civilised manners so that they can learn it and implement it from an early stage. The next step would be graffiti that would raise public awareness. The graffiti of deities would also be effective because we have a deep faith in omnipotent god. Strict rules and regulation of charging fine and other punishment will draw people’s attention towards this issue. Overall, to eliminate this problem from the root, participation of all is necessary because we are the cause of the problem and if we are not concerned about it, then who will be?
— Sujata Bajracharya, Gongabu-6
Sometimes I wonder how people can get into such disgusting acts in public, and suddenly I realise if we had enough public toilets/mobile toilets and dustbins, the public will not litter or pee on the roads.
There is a popular trend of placing images of deities on the walls to avoid such problems but in the long run the government should focus on building public toilets/mobile toilets and keeping dustbins at a distance of 200-500 metres in densely populated areas. And most of all, we should have strict rules and regulations.The provision of punishment and penalty should be implemented in this regard.
— Nirmal Aryal, Jitpurfedi, Tarkeshwor-7, Kathmandu
Since the subcontinent nations have originated from a rural and agrarian society to modern day nations with towering cites, towns and municipalities, the old habit of using open toilets has unfortunately survived among us even through decades. Furthermore, lack of civic sense and an indifferent negative vision towards our own native countries together with a general attitude of callousness have contributed to such ugly habits of littering our surroundings, urinating and even defecating in public and/or open spaces.
The best solution to tackle the issue is to focus on our younger generation when they are still in school and inculcate within them civic sense, to teach them to be sensitive towards our environment, be eco-sociologically responsible, truly love the place where one is born and to cater to the needs of developing a better society. Strict punishment for those abusing civic morality including financial penalty and short jail term will be important. The various media outlets, and both government and non-government agencies should continue educating and reminding the public about their civic responsibility. Using open toilets not only pollutes the ecosystem but also jeopardises the security of rural women facilitating sexual molestation and related violent crimes.
— Saikat Kumar Basu, 43 Street South, Canada
In many countries like Nepal, mainly in cities, we can see that people have been littering, spitting and peeing against boundary walls. We know we should not do it, but we all know we are unable to curb this habit. Such behaviour will only be controlled if the government formulates strict rules and regulations. Furthermore, the garbage containers should be placed at different junctions. It will reduce the rubbish and make the environment healthier to some extent. Moreover, changing our behaviour is the main thing. So, change your behaviour and persuade others to do so too.
— Binod Bibash, Kushmisera-1, Baglung
I don’t think there is any better way than to impose fines to stop this. People who do these acts don’t care about a clean Nepal. I think if fines are imposed, these people will be under control. Many countries have done it. If we can’t do it ourselves, learn it from others. Basic education should give importance to discipline and hygiene. Rest rooms and dustbins should be provided on roadsides. We have to give priority to hygiene and neatness in public places. A social movement may be required to inculcate such habits in our people.
— Arshiya Aryal, Sanepa, Lalitpur
Human beings are called as a civilised social animal but this statement doesn’t seem to be in agreement with actual human behaviour. We humans are the creatures who crowned ourselves as a civilised animals, but if you judge humans from other animals’ perspective then, undoubtedly we humans are surely to be classified as the most uncivilised, and brutal creatures.
In order to control these uncivilised activities, government and local bodies should be active. Public toilets, dustbins et cetera should be installed at various places and mainly individual should be aware and curb such behaviour.
We need to clean our surroundings. People need to be self-conscious and have good etiquette because humans have wisdom, and are powerful creatures in this universe.
I’ve heard that in Singapore if people don’t flush the public toilet after use, they are charged a hefty fine. We can bring the same initiation here. Proper management of waste, rubbish bins at fixed place are also needed. Use of plastic bags has decreased due to our anti-plastic campaign. Thus, nothing is impossible. First, we need to start and make a commitment not to pollute our environment. Use of pamphlets, posters, and graffiti on the walls about not to spit or urinate can be helpful. Every community should build public toilets in their locality and conduct a sanitation programme.
— Pawan Ram Lamichhane
Probably Nepalis are ranked the lowest when it comes to civic sense and etiquette. We still have many bad habits, some of them being littering, spitting, and peeing. We are still far from being civilised. The other thing is we also lag far behind when it comes to moral values. We should really not behave like the way we are doing right at the moment. In order to stop such habits of ours, we need to become aware of whatever we do because we are the ones who can bring the much-needed change which is highly needed in our country right now. Certainly we should practice and attempt in order to get control over our bad habits. Besides we should use our common sense that environmental pollution is really a matter of serious concern throughout the world and Nepal is no exception at all. Only then will we be able to emphasis the importance of cleanliness.
— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor
We being social animals should not act so carelessly. We should accentuate not to do such activities that degrades the environment as well as the health of the people. We are the ones to face the consequence at the end.
I believe that sometimes unwillingly we are compelled to do so and we don’t have any alternative. But the responsibility goes to the government for not providing facilities in the public area properly like washroom, dustbin et cetera.
— Sandesh Shrestha, Banasthali, Kathmandu
Habit always depends on human nature and behaviour, we agree that we probably we are the lowest in our civic senses and etiquette, because we are doing those things that is against good human beings no matter how literate we are. It is also true that there are no sufficient public toilets. Our municipalities have to think about it and they have to take a serious step against it. To build public toilets we have to change our habit.
— Rabindra Kr Neupane, Butwal
Most of the Nepalis are not aware about how to maintain good environment. Most of us have the habit of spiting here and there and throwing dust elsewhere which is extremely shameful. While walking on the road I see pile of garbage in different places of the city. If dustbins are managed everywhere and awareness is continued to spread about sanitation such habits will be obviously improved. Public toilet should be opened in most of the places. Cleanliness should be maintained there so that people won’t feel uneasy to go there.
I was very young one of my friends and I were sharing oranges with one of our teachers on Sports Day. I threw orange peel on the ground while my friend chose dustbin. Now my teacher couldn’t have gotten any better reason to criticise me for my behaviour, leaving me embarrassed. But then that embarrassment really taught me a lesson. Since then I have put a full stop to littering. As for spitting I find this habit so dirty that I feel like vomiting.
People practice such activity not because they lack education, but because they are habituated. Only a certain kind of transformation in their perception can bring about a change. One should start from oneself and it is truly said that habit can overcome by another habit.
However, most practical remedy would be the government punishing (collecting fine et cetera) such people. That would be the best solution.
— Smriti Dahal, Pepsicola, Kathmandu-35
Any effort to reduce or eliminate peeing or spitting on the road is worth the effort. I think the idea of annual clean up days in community can be effective. It usually lasts only for a few hours which can be a lot fun and very gratifying on completion. After selecting ideal date and time (good weather, weekends, holidays), the idea of clean up can be promoted. In order to get the participants we can contact the managing authorities in the area where the problem exists. The authorities can help in promoting the clean up events by an announcement in their newsletter, billing, statements, bulletin boards or other communication mediums. Despite of the promotion of importance of community service, only a few people might be interested as it isn’t glamorous picking up the trash and cleaning along the main road through the town. I think the next way of getting dozens of volunteers for clean up events is if we can manage to contact reporter from local newspaper and cover the story with the picture of civilised society. When the society itself gets involved in the development of civic sense, the difference is seen regardless of degree of success.
— Thirendra Kumar Subedi, Kalyan-5, Surkhet
Nepal is a country where kissing in public is not entertained but peeing in public is done shamelessly. Ironically garbage is thrown just below the board in which there is written ‘Do not throw garbage here’. Most of us throw garbage in the public place which makes the location dirty and polluted. People only care to keep their home or location clean but they don’t care about roads or public places to throw litters. Well, most of the people are educated in Nepal but some ignorant people though they are educated
pee against the wall or spit on the roads.
Well to stop this, people themselves need to realise what they are doing wrong. Beside this government should make rules like charging heavy fine or putting CCTV in such places. Rules should not only be limited to papers but should be implemented.
— Megha Khadgi, Baneshwor, Kathmandu
I say moral civic sense and etiquette are the most significant assets one should bear. Through these congenial habits we should always approach towards making our city look more beautiful and pleasant. In context of Kathmandu, people are so inane that they randomly ditch their trash around the corner or use the holy river Bagmati as their dumping site. Moreover, there are people who just pee here and there against the walls not being aware of the consequences it creates. It’s ridiculous and shameful act of ours which must halt right away.
Well, the government should be the one to take the initiative towards stopping these disgraceful act. I’d suggest to implement fine system as punishment, create more dumping sites, put dustbins by the side of roads and build more public toilets. But, the most effective solution would be the awareness among us. We ourselves are becoming victims so why not take a step to stop ourselves from the jeopardy?
Yes, I do suppose that littering, spitting, and peeing against the boundary walls has been a daily activity for pretty much all folks. However, if we try then clearly the day will soon come when people will be more attentive. First and the foremost issue is that people should understand themselves before somebody else comes and makes them realise their mistake. Most of the people are so careless that they pollute the environment knowingly. In case of such people we should go, talk to them and make them realise how insane and careless are they being. Once it involves the state then the government should create strict laws and they should keep dustbins in the public places so that people won’t litter the place and public toilets should be made so that people won’t pee on the walls. Even after this if people continue such activity then they must be punished and fined.
— Sachita Shrestha
Human body, complicated machine consist lots of inhaling parts, exhaling parts et cetera in association with regulatory shaft (brain) which acts voluntarily. As our ancestral habitat, living in the wild, the holograph of some behaviour still remain in our mind though we travel through generation of urban advancement.
Till past decades majority of the people of Nepal used covert area for littering, peeing, et cetera. A recent trend to attach god’s images at corners, shades, walls makes lots of difference because we are bounded by cultural norms but that doesn’t mean all of our walls must be adorned with pictures of god.
My friend spat on the road in front the Bhadrakali mandir while we were walking a few days ago, I scolded him ‘why do you do so?’ He told me that, I know the fact that it is a bad habit, but can’t help it. It means public awareness is not sufficient enough not only in Kathmandu but all over the country. Another important thing is public toilet, dustbins et cetera should be placed in places.
— Poshan Belbase
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Love for one’s motherland burns in all and more so in recent days. Love and devotion for the country and one’s fellowmen is evident — when one gives a lift in his/her vehicle or when one leaves the seat in public transportation or in social media... but are words/violence symbols the only ways one can show one’s love for the country? What do you think it is to truly love one’s country? What have you contributed for your country’s good? Illustrate.
Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, October 9 by 2:00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org