I have heard stories from Singapore, Australia and USA, from the people who’ve visited these countries.
For the first time visitors, they were surprised to have meted out with unusual, un-Bhutanesely encounter; in Singapore, people are not allowed to carry edibles while traveling by bus. It’s simply unbelievable.
In Australia, friends and relatives who had been there say that if you wear your white T-shirt for a week, it would be still with any dust on it. It’s same with the car, you need not wash for weeks. It’s simply amazing.
In USA, every single person takes care of litter, if one is seen littering, another person who has seen you littering would reprimand you, it’s not the concerned authority who is doing that. If they see fights or beating children or women, the case would be reported in a wink and police would zoom in from nowhere. Everyone takes responsibility of the society. It’s just wonderful.
I feel the story would be the same of many countries.
Talk about our country, it’s just the other way; we can take anything we like in public transports provided the space is available. Everyone litters care-freely. You buy a chocolate and wrapper goes on the ground. You drink a bottle of coke, it crumbles on the ground. The litters cannot reach its designated place despite numerous Green Bins put up by the municipality in towns, and Bins put up by schools as social contributions. Unfortunately, people who advocate proper use of bins end up littering outside freely.
There are myriad reasons for Bhutanese to gather and aftermath is the chunk of litters. In any gatherings, be celebrations, Tshechus, watching movies in a hall, going for picnics, queuing up to receive blessings, the by-products are litters, the trash from edibles and drinks.
Unlike, everyone taking responsibility in the mentioned countries, none of us take responsibility to care our own trash. It’s a story of SOMEBODY, NOBODY, ANYBODY and EVERYBODY, where responsibility gets shifted between the four to have none taken responsibility at the end of the day.
We’ve had enough awareness and policies being framed. But none has proved successful: one time, we’d defaulters fined but it didn’t work. Another time, we’d rigorous awareness campaigns to see that aftermath of those campaigns itself were garbage. It didn’t work either. What next?
I feel we have gone wrong at the root. Children were never taught to litter properly for our parents as children weren’t taught by their parents either. The repercussions of this flaw seem almost irreversible. We’re moving ahead without a way to turn back and rectify the foul steps that we’ve trodden.
Until date, no think-tanks could successfully think through to put a brake to this perennial issue we’ve been going with. We know there is a national call waiting for an answer. That answer everyone must ponder. All that we’ve ticked are incorrect answers. We bear hopes that we could tick a right answer one day sooner.
If we could replicate of Singaporian, Australian and American on ourselves, Bhutan would be an epitome of green environment. I could see a lot of elements worth emulating and importing from these countries. But at this pace of litters we produce, Memelakha(a site identified for dumping trashes) would be everywhere across the country in no longer.
Everyone: you & I, parents, teachers and the government need to brainstorm over this perpetual issue of litters. What could be hit-the-nail answer to the call waiting in line?