Cleanliness is next to godliness. There have been a lot of awareness camps, programs and lectures about cleanliness, becoming environment friendly, keeping the city clean. However, cleanliness is most of the time seems to be just another promotional activity in the city.
Many a time one can see a hand popping out of a luxurious car window with empty bottle, chips packet or a juice canes being casually thrown on the roadside. Keeping all these things in mind an NGO called Consortium of International Minds (CIM) has come up with a unique step to try their hands at making Guwahati city a little better by collecting the thrown away idols on the road sides of Hindu gods/goddesses after rituals are being performed. This is one of the few common phenomena in the city. “This not only disrespect the deities but at the same time making the city look ugly and creating pollution hazards”, says Indrajit Saikia, the president of the CIM. It is one of the many projects that this new NGO has decided to work upon. With the city growing, the numbers of pujas and rituals have increased in large numbers including personal rituals performed in business establishments, and later the idols being left on the roadsides, or near a drain and somewhere under a tree until the idols gets disposed itself. The NGO has all set to move in the nook and corners of the city to find such abandoned idols and collect it to dispose properly.
Saikia asks, “Why worship god and later throw the idol with disrespect, instead a photo can also be used for performing rituals and pujas? Very soon the Viswakarma puja will be celebrated in the month of September and the very next day you will find hundreds of old idols being kept on the road sides, we ask the people not to do this”.
Tinat Atifa Masood, a member of the NGO says “somewhere we individuals have to take responsibility. I see kids throwing papers and other things out of theier school buses. I just wonder what this so called standard schools and their elite parents teach to their kids”. She adds “It hurts me when I have learnt that Guwahati is one of the dirtiest cities in the country. We all need to think of this city, this state and of course about this country to keep it clean”.
High profile actors like Amir Khan advertisements on TV regarding cleanliness, promoted by Tourism Ministry may find it tough to catch the imagination of the people and change their mindsets all of a sudden, but yet, with responsibility and efforts of every individual can change things for better with the passage of time.