Look around you. Do you see clean roads, well-kempt gardens with neat flowerbeds or do you see overflowing garbage bins, spit marks on walls and a general apathy to all things clean? If it is the latter, stand in front of the mirror—meet The Ugly Indian.
In a city where a person was beat up for asking another to throw his trash in a bin, there is an urgent need to wake up and bring the city some much-needed perspective and action. Matunga-resident Anagha Malekar, Chartered Account shares, "Personally, I feel we need a change in the general mindset. It is basic civic sense to not throw garbage on to the streets, but we lack that. If even 50 per cent of the citizens respect this sentiment at an individual level, the city will be a cleaner place."
Mumbai Rising, inspired by 'The Ugly Indian', is a platform to showcase citizen action in Mumbai. It is all about taking ownership to bringing about change in the city through one's actions. This community initiative where citizens of a community decide to take it upon themselves to identify filthy urban spaces and 'spot fix' them, has started off in different parts of the country. They share 'before and after' images of the space on their digital social media forums, thus spreading the message of involvement and urging citizens to be a part of the change. It is convenient to blame the authorities and the system for dirty streets and unclean neighbourhood. But we seldom see people getting involved and taking action to seek a solution for the same. We asked Chhavi Sachdev, multi-media professional and Worli resident, what she thinks about this initiative and she says, "As a citizen, I think this initiative is a good idea. I will be surprised if it picks up as there is so much apathy in this city; our sense of entitlement succeeds our sense of responsibility. I would sign up for it in the hope that it does not fizzle out. I hope people get involved, contribute their time and energy, involve the youth and make it social." An association like 'The Ugly Indian' is an urgent need for the citizens of Mumbai.
How can we live amidst the filth? Why do we care about our homes but not our streets? If you have asked yourself even one of the above questions, you will be inspired to volunteer with the community and activate change.
The Ugly Indian: http://www.theuglyindian.com/
Community Page Mumbai: https://www.facebook.com/mumbairisingnow