What is it about simple instructions that baffle people? They pee on the very wall that has a sign pointing to a toilet; take U-turns in the face of ‘No U Turn’ signs, and always throw stuff around dustbins.
Last Tuesday, a free roadside lunch was on at Janpath. Autowallahs, shopkeepers, pretty much everyone from the vicinity had flocked to the venue for the khichdi-dal. Right behind the makeshift kitchen, a large blue, plastic drum was placed as the honourary dustbin. Not more than two feet away from it, the ground was littered with hundreds of silver foil plates with leftover food seeping onto the pavement. Having just polished off a plate of momos from a nearby shop, I walked over to the blue drum, expecting it to be full to the brim (I assumed that was why the road had become a kudadaan). But, it was absolutely empty! Not one person had bothered to use it. Doesn’t that just annoy you?
Okay, so this is a common sight in Delhi — in Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, you name it — and while there are sweepers who clean the area the next morning, what about all those hours when leftovers rot in the sun? What about the germs and infections festered then? Aesthetics play a minor role in the life of a dustbin. I’d imagine cleanliness and hygiene are topmost priorities. Both are compromised when people litter around a dustbin, instead of inside. Think about that the next time your half-eaten sandwich misses its target, will you?