Monday, November 19, 2012

Celebrating a Day!







Celebrate what you want to see more of...Thomas J. Peters.
Why we need a day to realize importance of the cause? The question this quote raises me in my mind always when ever read it; especially recently after Sakal made it for Bus Day & which indeed was a huge success. But isn’t this very success of the Bus Day is indirectly failure of our systems on all other 364 days? Have we ever thought that? Why we have to create or come to a situation where a news paper like Sakal to go behind this cause when we have PMC administration, Traffic police, RTO, elected members & a list of organization which can support to PMPML i.e. our city’s public transport system? Then there is State Govt & funding from Central Govt under schemes like JNNURM!  Does all these people are blind?

Here I remember a story from Akbar Birbal era.  Once up on a time Akbar asked in his Darbar, “ How many blind people are there in Delhi? Everybody started guessing & come up with many numbers but Birbal was silent. He said he will reply it tomorrow. Next morning he didn’t turn up in Darbar instead he sat right in the middle of main chowk ( Square) of Delhi repairing chat ( Cot) with a diary & pen along. As Birbal didn’t come to Darbar Akbar asked where Birbal is & knowing what he is doing decided by himself to go & check up what’s happening? After seeing Birbal in mid road sitting & repairing khat, Akbar surprisingly asked , “Birbal what are you doing? “ Hearing the question Birbal said “one more blind” & added a number in his diary! Akbar understood the answer & act of Birbal & smilingly took him to Darbar.

Unfortunate we have Birbals in the form of news paper like Sakal but we have no  Akbar to understand the answer & take cognizance of the same. As after the huge success of Bus day, right from next day the scene is same on the roads. Here I am not defying the purpose of the Bus Day & efforts like that but how many day’s we will be celebrating going on this way? Is what I will as to this city & its rulers. We celebrated Bus day to show the city & its citizen that what difference it makes if all come together & act for a cause like using public transport. Most of the celebrities travelled by public transport on that day & got themselves caught by shutterbugs & Face book, Twitter were full of images of people smiling posing in bus or at bus stops. Its nearly a month after that how many of them have started travelling even once in a week by public transport? Has the service of PMPML improved for the common commuters who earlier also were travelling by public transport? The service earned a record break income that day yet they seem to have not developed any thrust of boost towards continuing the kind of service they gave on bus day & stick to gather more & more passengers. What to do now? Celebrate another Bus day or do it every week & why we need Sakal for that cause? Has no other public body or even the citizen of this city have no interest in having a good public transport system?

And coming to celebrating some special this city needs so many of them e.g. there should be No Garbage Day, Save Water Day, Save Power Day, Save Tree Day, Save Birds Day & the list goes on. To start with city streets & corners are full of garbage flowing through the garbage beans & we all are responsible for that scene. Have we ever wondered where this garbage goes? Every now & then there is protest from villagers of Urali i.e.  its the village where our Garbage Dump Ground is located; & the whole garbage collection system comes to stand still. The news papers gets headlines & overflowing garbage stink settles all over the city & suddenly we realize the threat of ever increasing garbage & there are talks of curtailing the same & making provision for new garbage dump yard & systems to disintegration of garbage. Again either Hon. Mayor or the Commissioner assures the Urali villagers some thing & the protest is taken back & we happily get engaged in generating more garbage! So it’s high time that we should think that how we are going to contribute the cause for reducing garbage & start celebrating No Garbage Day!
Then comes the Water, gone are the days when we Punekar’s proudly used to say that we don’t have to store the water & day by day the scene is going to worsen with growing population & restricted sources of water. What we are doing for this as an individual? Few months back when the rain fall situation was bad PMC announced water supply curtailment & still it’s on. The battle between PMC & Irrigation Dept over the quota of water this city will have is ever going but “what it has to do with me?” is the attitude of most Punekar’s! It’s high time that each of us should analyze the quantity of water being consumed individually & try to save as much we can on the use of water. And this brings in need of celebrating Save Water Day!

About Power we are fortunate to be counted amongst few cities in the State rather second after Mumbai for uninterrupted supply & we take as our birth right! See the numbers of Air conditioning units sale & you will know it. We use liberally geyser to heat the water & don’t spend on getting solar water heaters fitted if the builder hasn’t given it. We want more light points & hardly care of units in electric bills as its peanuts for us in compare to our other expenses is what we feel. But a single unit saved by us can be of use to some needy villager or can curtail the use of coal which is being burnt to give is power supply, we rarely think on these lines. Shopping malls are flooded with light & even the entertainment puller events like IPL Cricket matches are carried out in burning millions of watts of lights! I am no philanthropist but somewhere in the back of mind if we don’t save the electricity then who will? No Govt agency seems to be keen on this front as no policy’s are being put in place for using more of unconventional energy rather long back a senior officer from MSEB has said me that “they don’t want people from Metro’s to curtail the use of electricity as they are their best pay masters & to whom this saved electricity is going to be supplied? To the farmers who don’t pay a single rupee for the same !” Well speaking MSEB then now MSEDCL, this may be right approach but at what cost? We need to balance the need & supply not the greed & supply when it’s Power! And for that it’s high time to start celebrating Save Power Day!

Trees cutting is on rampage & I am not saying in tune with any NGO but its unavoidable as if you want to build building, roads, bridges, drainage/ water treatment plants, stadiums the existing trees are going to be displaced. But what about new tree plantation & making them survive? The tree census may show the existing trees but why not we have a count that how many trees have been cut in last ten years & how many new ones have been planted & have survived & growing well? The tree cover is the only answer for the pollution from exhausts of over 15 million vehicles in this city & what are we doing for the same? These very trees are also sheltering the many birds which were & are also citizen of the city & fast becoming homeless & eventually extinct because of tree cutting, is a bitter truth!  Each day we see many events of tree plantations in new paper but what happened to those trees next year is a known truth! There are many good NGO’s working for tree & bio-diversity conservation but how many of us ever tried to know about them & lend a helping hand to them is a question one should ask to oneself! As funding is always a problem for such NGO’s & we have citizen spending a million on any event like horse race or some celebrity’s performance but when it comes to contribute for nature our pockets went dry; this is many people’s experience working in nature conservation field. It’s high time that we should ask ourselves, have I planted a single tree & made it grow big? That’s calls for celebrating Plant a Tree Day & Save City Birds Day!

These are just few examples of the days we need to celebrate & are we going to need Sakal or any media like that for the same each time? If yes then it’s a shame for every person in this city as well organizations , associations of various business trades as it’s from this city they are prospering & they should come forward on this front to make the citizen aware for each such aspect of the life. Many will say what role real Estate has to play in this as are we not building homes & planting trees along? Well when we call ourselves Developer we should ask what are we developing in actual? Building a society doesn’t mean build four walls, its building environment of which the four walls are a part! And for that we have to take lead & start from our own self & celebrating such day by our self is a small start of a long journey which should have been started way back! Still it’s never too late for a good cause & as the quote says lets learn to enjoy the cause we celebrate ,I think then only we are entitled to say that we have been part of the Bus Day event by Sakal!

The torch bearers like Sakal will be always there but it’s the followers of the path who makes the cause a success & as a citizen of the city we owe at least that much to the city!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.


Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

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