Article By: Shenaz
Every year people of Udaipur wait for monsoon and overflow of lakes. The thrill and excitement of watching the rising level of water in the lakes is truly magical. People religiously visit the lakes day and night and enjoy the sheer pleasure of the ongoing feel. No doubt, outpouring of lakes is one of the major and much awaited monsoon events of Udaipur. I always brag about these small beauties of my town to my friends and specially invite them to visit the city in monsoon so that they can also enjoy the incomparable charm of the lakes and its overflow. During one of my usual visit to the Fatehsagar Lake, while I was inhaling the serenity of the overflow, I overheard a conversation between some tourists viewing the fall and it eventually broke my magic spell.
The sudden wonder was that they were not talking about my city’s beautiful lakes but were talking about the garbage and waste flowing in it, they were not talking about my city’s culture and people but they were assessing the uncivil behavior of the crowd thronging the lakes to get one glimpse of the overflowing water. For a moment, I was quite aggressive and could not bear how anyone can say anything negative about my city which claims to be in the list of top tourist destinations of the world. Every year lots of tourist from various parts of the world visits Udaipur to catch the amazing view of its lakes, culture and people. And why these particular people have to opine in such a way!! Alas, some facts are really bitter and hard to digest. Thus, when I followed their gaze, I realized they were not so wrong. They admired Udaipur and that’s why they were here but meanwhile they had also noticed some very significant things which we have ignored in the hustle and bustle of this majestic happening. I discovered the unpleasant look of the city quite comfortably damaging its first impression. The lakes were full but the water was highlighted by the floating half-eaten corns, wafer packets, ice-cream wrappers and other leftovers. The roadside across the lake was strewn with corn peels and wastes dumped by the passers-by. People were conveniently throwing the leftovers on the road and in the lake. Some were even competing with each other how far one can hurl the leftovers in the water. I was compelled to think do we throw all these garbage in the water to show our craze towards brimming lakes or is it a routine exercise? Is this a welcome gesture towards overflowing of lakes? Then I considered, no, it cannot be so. Udaipurites are well educated and informed. They are alert of their rights and duties and very often they participate and conduct awareness rallies and one cannot forget that how they were aggressively joined Anna Hazare movement. So, the government must be incompetent, it must not have placed adequate garbage bins everywhere for the ease of public. But here I was proven wrong; I found that the whole lake was lined by fine-looking waste bins which are easily accessible and in good numbers. The bins are also inscribed with “use me” signs. Maybe the bins are so beautiful and inviting that we don’t use it and scatter the trash on the roads and in the waters. Whatever the reason, we are not leaving a stone unturned in increasing the wastes and hence glorifying our city in reverse way. We just boast to each other about the wastes around the lakes and in its water. We talk a lot about the civil sense of people and the methods to keep the lakes clean. But let’s today take a conscious initiative to maintain that sense which we all have. Let’s give an individual input to it rather than creating rallies and writing columns on it. So, the next time when you visit any lake and if you really love your city and the lakes then: · Do not throw any leftovers in the water or in the overflow. The water is not going in the dump yard or garbage bin. The overflow is filling our lakes and empty reservoirs. · Please use the waste bins. They are not there to beautify the lakes but for us to throw the garbage in. · Please don’t throw any leftovers in the lakes or on the roadside. If you can’t find a bin, carry it home. It’s wise to take care before rather than organizing ‘Safai Abhiyan’ afterwards. · When the lake water becomes stagnant, the waste smells fouls and is the carrier of many contagious diseases. The area around UIT pulia, Ayad and Panchwati are live example of this. · The lake preservation society of Udaipur is doing a dedicated effort in keeping the lakes clean and so lets do our part by maintaining it. · Don’t think about others but just do your part. It’s enough for awareness and for a good start. The rest will follow.