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FIFA World Cup 2018: World Cup fans show the route to cleanliness that India could take

With videos of Japanese and Senegalese fans cleaning the stadium after FIFA matches going viral, Indian celebrities say we need to have the same spirit for Mission Swachh Bharat to become truly successful.

football Updated: Jun 28, 2018 16:52 IST
Abhinav Verma
Abhinav Verma
Hindustan Times
FIFA World Cup 2018,Japan,Senegal
The post-match clean-up video has gone viral on social media, drawing worldwide praise for the Japanese fans. It also has inspired fans of other countries to follow suit.

If there is one thing that binds people together across the world, one language that people understand, it is the language of football — O Jogo Bonito. This was epitomised by the Japanese and Senegalese fans after Japan beat Colombia in their opening group match in the ongoing FIFA World cup. In a heartwarming gesture, the Japanese fans stayed back after the match was over, to clean the stadium. Draped in Japanese flags and scarves, the fans were filmed picking up garbage such as plastic cups and food waste, and dumping it in the dustbin.

The post-match clean-up video has gone viral on social media, drawing worldwide praise for the Japanese fans. It also has inspired fans of other countries to follow suit. The Senegalese fans stayed back after their matches against Poland and Japan to clean the entire stadium. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. This sets an example for us as to how we ought to represent our country. If we all take the responsibility for cleaning not only our stadiums, but also public spaces such as cinema halls, and parks etc., then our cities would be much cleaner,” says Harbhajan Singh, cricketer.

Badminton player Jwala Gutta feels that having a civic sense is of utmost importance to signify a progressive culture. “Such acts spread civic awareness, which we lack. These are the values that we need to inculcate in our culture if we want progress,” she says.

Delhiites believe that by taking a page out of the book of the Japanese fans, we can attempt to make Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a success. “India, which is constantly pushing towards a cleaner nation, can learn a thing or two from these fans. It’s not just players who represent the country, but their fans too. Whether they win the world cup or not, they’ve definitely won our hearts,” says Mihir Misra, businessman.

Sports presenter Karishma Kotak believes that acts like these reiterate the fact that we need to take responsibility for our actions. She says, “I also think that sport stars play an important role in spreading the message of cleanliness. After all, cleanliness is the route to happiness.”

Management professional Abhimanyu Harlalka echoes the same thoughts. “The spirit of sportsmanship should emanate from fans too. And if this spirit addresses our environmental problems, it’s a boon for us. The Japan vs Senegal match showed in practice what accumulated individual effort can do. So, instead of pointing fingers at the government, we must do our bit,” he says.

Whereas Mahir Amir, a basketball player who has recently graduated from Hindu College believes that what we can learn from the Japanese and the Senegalese, is that keeping our houses clean is not enough. “If we want a cleaner and a better future then we have to take responsibility for our surroundings. What the Japanese did was a part of their culture. So, if we abide by such values and principles then we won’t require a Swachh Bharat campaign”, says Mahir.

First Published: Jun 28, 2018 16:51 IST