Crows, rats, owls, dogs and cats—wittingly or unwittingly—help in keeping our city clean. While facing starvation, they put their dignity aside and find the grub in garbage. Nothing astonishingly new in that. What's worth noting here is the rising number of filth and the decreasing number of bins. For what can't be explained, our urban planners (if there are any) don't count the need to put trash cans in adequate numbers at appropriate distance. Even a cleanliness-obsessed citizen would lose morale to such apathy. And believe me, he does.
Which brings us to the question: is littering an urban phenomena?
I've been to villages. Quite a lot of them, actually. And one thing is common to all of them. They are clean. You don't see vile polythene carriers strewn helter-skelter. On the other hand, there's hardly any wastage. Consumerism is low and practical minimalism, high. Yes, it can't be denied that lack of development is to be squarely blamed for the relative orderliness. But then, even small villages are slowly getting a hang of urbanity and the first sign of this change are the plastic bags half-buried on the side of the kaccha roads.
Which brings us to the illation: the culprit is not modernity but incompetence.
We know how essential plastic has become in our day-to-day life. What we may not know is the potential danger it poses to our future generations (if there will be any). A replacement is going to be costly and by the time something comes up, the ugly polythene pile one witnesses while travelling in a local train will have turned uglier. At the same rate, the plastic bags will be fully buried on the rural roadsides.
Which brings us to the remedy: it's high time crows, rats, owls, dogs and cats ate plastic!