Revival of a Frustrated Winner..

On the same lines of my last post, Confession of an Aggressive Loser, which was composed under the grey, pessimistic shadows of an ailing tree... here comes today.. myself again.. writing something but don't know exactly what to write...

Though I am feeling like a winner at the end of this week, after winning a small performance award at office and much bigger than that, a win at my residential area.. It was a fight over the garbage dumping menace. The corner of the street were my house is, in Koramangala 8th Block, was becoming a garbage dumping ground. see pictures.

My house is on one of the 3 street which are surrounding a park. The fourth side of the park, is connecting to small basti kind of colony whose residents are the prime accuse of dumping garbage. Directly those poor people cannot be blamed because BMP Garbage Collectors are not doing there job properly.. they are coming to the big houses near the park but not going to this small basti, regularly..

I have shifted in this house in Feb 09 and it's been 4 months now.. every day in the morning when I used to start for my office, I used to think of starting a movement the coming Saturday. And every Saturday I used to think, it's too difficult, no one will understand me, I don't know the local language, I will look like a fool if I go to every house of the locality.. and similar hazaar thoughts used to come in my mind.

Eventually, my mother came to see us and she started complaining about the unbearable smell which comes straight in the house. Finally one Saturday, 4 o clock I decided to start.. I was not sure what to do but I just rushed out of my house. I started from the house which is the closest to the dirty place.

That day I covered around 20 houses, talked to each of them, explained how bad it is going, asked them if they throw it there, pleaded them to not to do it.. In this course of action, I came to know that it is those basti people who are the major contributors here.. In this activity I made friend with a local boy also. Next Monday myself and that boy, Shekhar, went inside that basti, talked to people.. we managed to get one BMP garbage collector man also with us. That 1 hour exercise was an eye opener. There are only 3 streets in that basti, and about 10-15 plots on each streets.. that comes out to 70-90 plots.. but surprisingly, every plot had 3 story houses and each floor was occupied by 2-3 families. By our estimation there are at least 250 families in that small basti. Reaching out to every house hold was impossible for us. (could be possible for Mahatma Gandhi, but was not for us)..

Then started the mission of educating people about this. We spent many days, standing at that corner, in the morning for 1 hour, asking people to not to do this..
But nothing we could do as in mostly all houses cleaning etc happens at around 7-8 in the morning and the garbage collector comes at 11 o clock and as I told, they don't go the basti at all. We fought with people, requested them, pleaded them too.. finally, we made big notices, took the printouts, laminated them ourselves using plastic sheets and tapes.. and put them on the tree at the garbage site...
But all of our efforts were in vein as people were not interested in our efforts at all.

The main reason for this was actually a practical problem we face in every society of this world. If it is not affecting me why should I bother? The same happened with us. That garbage was a problem for 3 houses which are nearest of it. Why others should bother... By god's grace we did not loose hopes. Mailed BMP officials regularly, continued putting up new notices in various languages, continued pushing garbage collector women to go in that basti... Finally we got one support. The house owner of the house, which is just opposite to the site and which is the most affected because of this problem, came to the rescue.

He got the place clean by calling some majdoors and parked his car at that place. This reveals yet another feature of human nature. If the place was dirty, people assumed that other are making it dirty so why should not us. Secondly, when the place get cleaned up, 80% of the people stopped spoiling it. I don't know if they have started keeping at home OR started throwing it in front of other's houses. But one thing is for sure, people hesitate in messing up a clean place.

Still, 3-4 plastic bag carrying garbage arrives at this place by the time I come home in the evening, which we are trying to find out who is doing this. At least now it would be easy to go harsh on them since the place looks cleaner.

It's feels so good if you do some good.. now I am logging off, happily and going straight to facebook to grab a username... it's starting in another 7 minutes..

I got the username abhishek.jain.. now u can meet me at