April 27th, 2016
We can all agree to the fact that lack of public cleanliness is a menace in India. One man, in his 40’s, decided to take matters into his own hands. Clad in his khadi shirt, he can often be seen at the beach in the village of Dandi, Gujarat, cleaning up after littering visitors. This is Dr. Kalu Dangar, a social scientist, who has been single-handedly maintaining the beach for the past four years. His day starts at 6:30 in the morning when he leaves his home, at the Vinay Mandir school hostel, armed with a waste collection bag. He then walks the three kilometre path by the sea in Dandi picking up waste discarded by the visitors.
He continues this exercise for two hours, every single morning, following which he cleans the main entrance and the garden at the Dandi chowpaty, and then fills the 2000 litre overhead water tank. He has repeatedly asked visitors to not litter the beach. The beach goers, however, pay no heed to him, and he returns to manually clean the beach again next morning. This is the story of one man’s undying effort to keep his village clean and hygienic, of how he without complaining, voluntarily, picks waste discarded by others every morning.
The Logical Indian expresses gratitude to Dr. Kalu Dangar for his continuous efforts to undo the environmental damage inflicted by others at his own sake. His efforts have resulted in the beach being one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in Gujarat. While Dr. Dangar’s work is laudable and noble, it is sad that one man had to take upon himself to clean the mess we create; it is a shame that we continue to litter our streets and beaches. It is unhygienic, unsightly and dangerously unhealthy to human, animal, and plant life to indiscriminately dispose of garbage in the open.
We request our readers to refrain from littering public places, and to take an initiative to maintain cleanliness in whatever way possible. Carry a small bag with you, to keep the waste until you come across a dustbin. Stop your friends and family members, or even passers-by, from discarding waste on the streets, even if a pile of garbage is present in a corner. It is small behavioural changes like these brought about over a larger scale that go a long way to bring about a significant change.