We lived in NCR for a long time, till we moved to the US in April 2011. A major reason to move out of India was to enjoy the quality of life in the West. Having lived in the states for 6 years and now in Canada for half-a-year, I can safely say that NCR was the most polluted region we’ve ever stayed in. Blame it either on the Government or people not doing their bit to at least keep their surroundings clean, the experience was nightmarish! I’ve never stayed in the region since I left it about 7 years back, but as I write this post from my hometown Ambala, I can assure you that my city is much better compared to what we endured back then in the NCR.
Having traveled extensively across countries, I feel there is a basic level of environmental cleanliness that we all expect. Who has to provide for it is dependent on both public and the private sector. The government has to initiate it and people have to follow on it, or it could be totally led by individuals too! To bring about a change, we are equally responsible as is the Government that we depend (and blame) on.
Let’s take the example of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The other day when I was traveling from Ambala towards Delhi, I saw workers cleaning NH1, which left me awestruck! I had never seen anybody cleaning highways before. Or take the example of folks taking away Trash from our home every morning. These are highly commendable steps taken by the Government. Think about people working at the grassroots towards the benefit of our country – it is so difficult to achieve in a country like ours! I believe the change is coming! In fact, when I landed in Delhi a fortnight back, I was so happy to see the new airport that I started clicking pictures of the same. Here is one such shot of an artwork against a waterfall:Talk about our National Capital:
I have read a lot about Supreme Court banning the use of Firecrackers on Diwali – a step which saved 1000s, to say the least! Yes, it discomforted many, but then didn’t I say we have to do our bit too? After all, it is us who are going to lead better lives!
The other step is introducing Metro far and wide in the region. If we all commit to using it rather than taking our own vehicle wherever possible, we would help reduce congestion on roads, which has numerous benefits. I remember taking the bus to and from New York for 2 years for work (I didn’t even buy a car). And I am not alone…If you ever go to Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York, you would see long queues for buses in the evenings. This has helped New York authorities to maintain the smooth flow of traffic in the already congested city.
Vodafone has taken a few initiatives too! The created the first air-purifying bus shelter in the city to help people breather clean it. They have committed to the digital revolution in the capital, so we can enjoy the benefits of technology while on the move. When I was in the New York area, I didn’t have a data plan on my phone. I used to make use of hotspots provided by my home internet provider there. Same is being done in the NCR by Vodafone. They have provided 120 hotspots at popular locations in NCR. Maybe in a few years, we will be close to where New York is in terms of quality of life and bringing the power of technology to the common man!
There is a lot yet to be done but the steps taken by the Government and Vodafone will lay the foundation for us follow it. It is only through a consistent and dedicated effort that we can bring about a real change in our lives!