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Why is India so dirty?

Eastern China, Japan, Western Europe have high population densities
I was talking about this region in particular.

Otherwise who doesn't know how those economies you mentioned did remarkable development.
Just visit China you'll never see a child going home from school walking other than pedestrian place. Never will see them littering on the roads.
I used to visit far east since 1998 and have seen those countries over those decades.

Seen China during those years. Several times saw indians, Pakistanis and Bangalis on the road with no discipline how to walk or cross the road.
What can we expect from our kids?
Japan has high population density. Singapore has super high population density. Those are some of the cleanest countries in the world.
Having lived in US for last 6 years and having traveled to many countries during my days in the Indian Navy I had always wondered – Why is India so dirty? Each time I assumed that it is just a matter of time. Once the economy grows and there is prosperity all around these things will follow and very soon we will look like one of those spic-and-span European countries or something like Singapore or Japan.

My recent visit to India followed by a visit to Singapore brought this question to the fore again – Why is dirt all pervasive in India? This problem is not limited to the slums or the ghettos, even the new Bengaluru airport is not spared. Just walk around and you will spot filth easily, it much less but there nevertheless. There is a huge amount of human capital and investment made to maintain the airport in a somewhat clean state. Taken that support off and I am sure the airport will resemble a garbage dump very soon. Why is this problem so endemic? What happened to Swach Bharat? Is population or education the problem? If so then why are more densely populated countries like Singapore or Japan not dirty? The number of Indians living in developed countries in increasing every year – thousands live amongst the local population in these countries and take part in maintaining these cities clean. How come the same set of people can’t keep our own country clean?

I think there are three fundamental problems. First is the attitude – ‘cleaning is somebody else’s job’. I refer primarily to the cleaning of the toilets or common areas here. However, cleaning of other areas can also be included in most cases. This thought process has it’s roots in the class or the caste system, outlawed decades ago, but prevalent all around. Cleaning is the job of the ‘Safaiwalas/ sweepers/ maids/ servants’. Majority of the middle class households have servants who take care of cleaning. They are considered lower ‘class’ and treated as such. I remember that in my home we had a separate cup and plate for the servants, they sit on the floor and use a backdoor. Even now in ‘educated high class apartment societies’ there are discussions on why servants should not be using the main elevators and a toilet be designated for their use. I would request my Indian friends to read the book or see the movie ‘Help’ on how in the 1950s US the African-American maids were treated by their white masters. In India we treat our help even worse well into the 21st century. Even in the most egalitarian society like the Military the job of ‘safai’ is for a designated few. In the Indian Navy, the job of cleaning all the toilets rests on the shoulders of the ‘Topass’ branch. I have witnessed an officer berating a young recruit on why he had joined the Topass branch. Apparently, the young sailor was from an upper class and the officer was not happy with him cleaning the toilets. But he was perfectly fine with others sailors of the branch doing it.

Second – is an extension of first and is due to the wide prevalence of ‘Patriarchy’ in the Indian society. Only 10% of working age Indian women are employed[1] and the remaining are either stay at home moms or housewives. Traditionally they have the assumed role of cooking, cleaning and taking care of the house. Take a pause and recall whose job it is to clean and cook in your house or your parent’s home or your grand parent’s home. Invariably it is the women. They have done an outstanding job of keeping their homes clean but have done a great disservice to the nation by not sharing the responsibility with their husband/ children. The men never learn how to clean and keep looking for a wife who will do all the cleaning.

Third – is the sense of ‘Belonging to the Community’. If you visit any home in India you will notice how clean it is on the inside. We take great pride in the upkeep of our homes. However, just step outside in the neighborhood and see the difference. We will throw trash on the road but never in our homes. As soon as one steps outside, somehow, the rules change completely. My hypothesis is that this character trait is indicative of ‘selfish’ nature. We are very possessive of what is “mine” and we don’t perceive public assets as mine. I am perfectly ok to defecate in the open but not even spill anything in my house. Where do we learn this? Are we teaching this to our children and in our schools? For a long time I appropriated this behavior to the scarcity of resources and thus we do not have the luxury to think about our surroundings. But the same holds true for densely populated countries like Singapore, Japan etc. We simply never learn or teach our kids about how to ‘belong to a community’. We teach our children to be very selfish and focus on what is best for them and not for all. This also explains why we drive the way we do – optimize for ourselves and not for the group.

Having served in the Military, for a long time I believed that stronger laws and stricter enforcement is the way to bring about the change we want to see. I have now grown wiser and realized that enforcement mechanisms have a shelf life with limited effectiveness. Also it is not all bad news. When we take the same set of people and place them in a community that does not include these issues, we are able to adapt and, in many instances, thrive. Proof is the millions of Indians living in Europe and US and contributing positively to their respective communities. We need to start with our children and instill the virtues of equality and community living to break this cycle to build a country for the future.

Pointless and insulting thread. Of no value.
This thread as brought out by a Think Tank is nothing more than a troll attempt.

If there was a serious analysis then this topic could have been analysed for entire subcontinent as the cleanliness levels are similar in the entire region except Bhutan. Trash and plastic waste can be seen all over, in all regions of the subcontinent.

The reason I see in India is indifference and lack of awareness. People consider themselves to be clean if their homes are clean inside. They would take out trash and throw it in front of their houses thinking that they have achieved ultimate levels of nirvana. If you ask that person, if he is clean then he would show inside the house to prove himself. Most get stumped when pointed out about the surroundings and blame the governments.

Population density and inadequate effort towards waste disposal and planning is another factor. Local governance is pathetic and riddled with corruption.

Modi, did start a drive towards cleaner areas and a drive to create awareness. But the habits ingrained for decades would take time to go.

It’s is disheartening to go to a serene and nice picnic spot or a place and see people discarding plastic bottles and other trash openly.
people in this region are habitually dirty, not just India.

yes, they are different kind of dirty. i don't understand why India think with their massive population they are a power. it is not, rather it is major cause of this mess. control the population and you'll be fine with everything.
having a robust and booming economy, India is set to gain its goals. but old habits don't die easy. they can afford better education for everyone but priorities are wrong like Pakistan although different. otherwise Modi doesn't have to hide slums behind painted walls and hoardings during G20 summit or any event.

over population is always a mess, it can never be a blessing.
It’s not the population, it’s the culture. China has as large a population as India but today Chinese cities are cleaner than America’s.

It’s the blatant disregard for public cleanliness, the lack of organized effort by the govt, the lack of consideration and good habits on the part of the populace that is the issue. There needs to be some fundamental education efforts to reform society.
India was among the most conquered nations, deep in history, by different races. Caste system and religion to justify this rule by different races.

On the contrary, Japan was the least conquered because of geography. Japan has relatively good hygiene while still a poor country.

China was also conquered, but in the later Middle Ages, by the same race.
So the damage is somewhat limited.

Being conquered will worsen the nation's character, especially by the different races. Hygiene is one of the easily observable characteristics.
It’s not the population, it’s the culture. China has as large a population as India but today Chinese cities are cleaner than America’s.

It’s the blatant disregard for public cleanliness, the lack of organized effort by the govt, the lack of consideration and good habits on the part of the populace that is the issue. There needs to be some fundamental education efforts to reform society.

China was not like this a few decades ago
Indian culture.



Okay, but why?

You Afraid you see yourself on mirror?

If you throw dirts on others, expect some dirts on you as well if seating on the same table.

OP article author is an Indian unless Pakistanis are serving in the Indian Navy… :wave:

Hilarious that your default defence mechanism is ‘Pakistan’. It just proves that we are your daddy.
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you know why japanese are clean take alook at their children schools the japanese child is taught at very young age to pick up litter to clean floor to work collectively in groups to clean room and serve food to other students.

i find iranians clean too. what these two got in common both nations value education, cleanness. They are to proud to cheat unlike india bengladesh pakistan where people are bemaan no wonder british ruled, too many sell out traitors.

In Pakistan you travel to shop, to buy a product the shop keeper will raise the prices and down grade the product. you go to doctor, he will give you fear factor so you spend more on medicine. police officer randomly will jump on you request bribes. the school teachers are busy eyeing up young girls, drug selling, taking bribes to pass students. politcians are busy cheating ppl, robbing land, stealing minerals, murdering ppl. army is too fooling people to milk kashmir situation, plus are busy killing true freedom fighters, milking nation resources, plus involved in sex business even though they have kamzoor lulli and kidnapping, torturing ppl. i personally think army is involved in the heroin trade there just too much money in that game, i have seen it in england where police officers are paid to alert the dealers of raids.

Oh i forgot to add; movies show immoral scenes and storylines. movie actors thinking they are above common man on the st. They never make movies about islamic heros but when etugrul a turkish drama was getting huge audience from pakistan then you had loser pak actors crying on the pak show, complaining about why pak ppl are watching foreign dramas. Shaan and saima crying with jealousy, thing is they had their chance what dramas or movies they made, saima dancing fiflthy shaking her big pakistani a ss across the screen and shaan kissing her on the neck etc. He should have gone all the way and drop his shalwar and just bang her atleast we can it was **** instead of drama with fiflth.
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Waste management. There should be govt run waste management for industrial, commercial and residential site, especially for slums. Its really low cost in India with your huge amount of labour.

Also public bins and plentiful public cleaners. People tend not to make a mess somewhere already clean.

Another thing to consider is fines for those who litter. Hire people wearing body cams and pay them to patrol the streets in busy areas fining anyone who drops litter.

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