Swachh or Clean is a word that we all love. After all, who does not want to look and feel clean? We also try and deck up our homes and clean them to keep all the dirt at bay. But is this the case with our streets? Swachh Bharat Abhiyan from Delhi to Rajasthan and Kolkata, Indian Roads are not that Swachh after all.
Spitting beetle leave remains to open defecation of animals and also humans to plastic and other wastes accumulated on every road, we have a long way to travel before being declared a fully clean country.
Having traveled to a lot many places and my lust for travel took me to Ranthambore this January 2019. Having had visited this place earlier, I wanted to try my luck again with the Tiger sighting. Tiger sighting didn’t happen but what I saw was way beyond my imagination of a clean Bharath.
Ranthambore a place of forts and Rajputs, who take pride in their culture and forests, had such a bad state of roads that were unclean and littered all over. Pigs and piglets were all over the place, so were dogs who were eyeing the dumped garbage after every few yards.
Dead cattle were lying in the open field areas as bait for Cats, Wild Cats, Leopards, Hyenas, and even Tigers with a terrible odor coming out from them from quite a far. People who had cattle at home and they themselves too could be seen littering in the open. Spitting on the roads was so common a practice all around.
Stall owners and street food sellers were no less than menace makers with plastic wastes strewn everywhere. Zone 10 of the forest had many people stomping in the prime tiger territory which has many offerings strewn over the forest area disturbing the naturality of the park. If plastic pollution wasn’t enough, we had hotel owners and the big fat Indian weddings adding on to the noise pollution of an otherwise quiet and scenic place surrounded by the national park full of various forms of flora and fauna.
People visit such places away from the hustle and bustle of the city life to view nature at it’s best while soaking in the much-required serenity missing at other places. However, if you are on the lookout for some clean air, the park is the best place to be visited for it, but once outside the park, the place is completely enveloped in dirt and dust with nothing good to offer your lungs with.
I happened to meet with a US citizen in one of the Safari’s who happened to be from the Travel Industry. Coming all the way from California to Noida in order to explore the travel options here, she seemed impressed with the high-end Mumbai and Noida. However, upon being asked whether she recommends Ranthambore as a travel option and will promote it back home, she was in double minds.
These are her words, which I write here next. “India has her highs and lows, which is really disturbing sometimes. While some places like Noida and Mumbai really impressed me with its beautiful buildings and infrastructure, there are places like Ranthambore which can never have a market for the Americans.”
“The tourism that survives here because of the forest and safaris seems haphazard since Tiger sightings are not guaranteed even after we have paid so much for the safaris. There are no Walkie Talkies given to the drivers which lessen the probability of Tiger sightings. The Sawai Madhopur area is also unclean and very unhygienic. We feel unsafe even if we hire a car in India.”
“Walkie-Talkies cost only 5$’s not sure why the Forest Officials cannot equip their men with these? Places like South Africa have a great market for us Americans in terms of cleanliness and their safaris are also better organized. I think India should really pull itself up and their people should also gear up to make things really work for them and us.”
“India is a very pristine and serene location with picturesque places throughout its length and breadth, however, uncleanliness and dis-organization will ruin its place in the world market of tourism and travel. Do something so that people can really enjoy the beauty of India, without facing any botherations as such.”
Except for the Safari’s, some forest and animal-loving great people, and the fort, Ranthambore has the only pollution to offer it seems. The local tourism industry can only boom when the government works upon its cleanliness campaign Swachh Bharat Abhiyan here in the real sense and also organizes the safaris in a better way. The cleaner the place, the greener it gets which also is good for the natural habitat including the vegetation and animals.
Cleanliness is next to godliness and this has to be etched in the minds of the locals here, otherwise, people will start avoiding Ranthambore and visit the greener and cleaner Bandhavgarh or Satpura. A very big broom is the need of the hour for Ranthambore.
Let us know which other places in India do you think need the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan? It can be your gully, your mohalla, the next lane from your house, or any city that you visited recently.
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