It is clean in Canada.
The air is clean. The ground is clean. The water is clean. It is pretty nice.
I can drink water out of the tap.
I can walk down the street with little chance of stepping on garbage.
There is some polution in the air but I can see the mountains from miles away.
I can swim in the lakes.

India is dirty, I can’t deny it.
Expats comment on the garbage all the time – piles of it on the side of the road and littered everywhere.
No garbage cans.

The water is dirty and unsafe to drink or wash food with.

Some cities and towns have a lot of pollution. Waste of many kinds run into lakes and vehicles of all kinds spew black stuff into the air.

Lack of education? Corruption? Lack of leadership?


5 thoughts on “Clean

  1. “Lack of education? Corruption? Lack of leadership?”

    All three, I think. Plus, there is a general lack of civic sense in India. People will keep their homes clean, but they won't hesitate to litter or spit in roads and public spaces. Corruption and under-regulation also leads to factories polluting the environment unchecked. The same with dirty vehicles plying the roads.

  2. Lack of Conciousness and over population! No way land the size if India can support 1.2 billion and counting!!

  3. You can actually see/ smell the garbage and pollution in India and maybe that is why it makes an indelible impact on the mind (it is unpleasant and scary to walk amidst piles of garbage). There is corruption and a lack of civic discipline. As the previous anonymous comment points out, people in India will ensure their homes are clean, but will litter the street. It's a difficult paradox to explain, even more difficult to understand. But overall, look at the global CO2 emission numbers for 2006: India contribute 1.3 ton per capita while Canada contributed 16.72 ton per capita; India needs to reduce its pollution by -236 % (its a nice negative number, not a typo) to reach the world per capita average while Canada needs to reduce by 73.7 %; emission intensity per $ of GDP is 0.56 kg for India and is 0.47 kg for Canada.* These point to lifestyles gone awry in your part of the world, even though the methods to clear garbage are excellent. The garbage in India impacts Indians. The CO2 emission in Canada impact the globe. I am just adding perspective to the tone of consternation in your post. But yes, in India, water and the streets need to be cleaned out, just like the government needs to be cleaned out. Soon. 🙂 The difference is we stand to do this without adding to the pollution because 80 per cent of Indian infrastructure is yet to be built and can use emerging clean technologies (I guess we are lucky), while 80 per cent of infrastructure in Canada has been built using outdated technologies and that investment needs to be protected for the next 50 to 60 years (I guess that's business logic). Rather gloomy when you think about it with facts and not just observation.

    On a slightly different front, you may like to see how things are actually changing: India has what is the world’s largest eye care facility at Arvind Eye Care — where 70 per cent of cataract operations are done free. The operations cost about $ 35 (compared this to $ 2,500 in the US). And infection rates are lower. But this is not the major note for advancement. The real hope is in the fact that the Indian doctors manage to do 12 times the number of surgeries their western counterparts manage in a year and the hospital's procedure continues to be 40 per cent more profitable. This is an outcome of innovation in process management and deskilling. The intraocular lenses used in a cataract operation made at Arvind cost $ 2 (about half the price of a train ticket between two stations on the London tube) and are exported to 120 countries in the developing world.**

    Today, ATMs in small towns where power supply is erratic run on solar energy and don't require air conditioning. You can see how this new infrastructure is going to make a real difference to the future.

    Change is coming. Slowly. And that is the real problem. We need ideas on how to hasten the change, how to have thousands of stories of successful innovation, how to beat corruption and how to change traditional mindsets.


  4. All good points, especially interesting re: stat comparisions between Canada and India.
    A couple times in India I bought a snack for my children at a little store. We ate it there and then asked for a garbage to put the wrapper. The person working there just points outside and says, “throw it out there.” My kids look at me wondering what to do and I say “no, it's messy and dirty if we throw it on the ground.” The shopkeeper looks at me and laughs and shrugs his head…and we hold on to the garbage til we get home.
    I am amazed at some of the charities that are switching over to solar lighting – they save a lot of money every month.
    Health care – well that's another story. There are certainly many Dr.'s/charities doing work for free/fundraising for various causes but overall much needs to be improved for the common Indian person.
    Changes will happen eventually…slowly…

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