December 14, 2013

Toilets in Bhutan

Scores of us are exposed and will be not upset to witness the hygiene of toilets in Bhutan. If ever anyone feel, probably it is just that the person has never been out of his personal lavatory. 

Descending right from few high profiles toilet to plumbers it would be no different. Either it is well festooned with spits of doma (betel nut) or blocked with junks. This is the fate of toilets around the places. 

I remember during my recent workshop, one of the teachers pointing out about the condition of toilets in schools. Sincerely admitting, it is worse than anything. The reeking smell alone will suffice the visitors to back off from a distance. Forget about the interior.

Bhutan is lauded for pioneering holistic philosophy, Gross National Happiness. We have been receiving applauds from other countries and admired for being one of the cleanest country on the globe. Perhaps, at the core we are not. By saying so, I am in no way trying to defame my motherland. Nor do I claim to have the tidiest washroom. Truth is truth and must be confessed. 

Our bosses believe that cleanliness begin from toilet. If we are unable to wield the matters at toilet level, perhaps it would be herculean task to run and orchestrate things at administrative level. Isn’t it true friends? 

We are being complacent all the time. We dare not to be responsible just because the toilet doesn’t belong to us. Paradoxically, we are the ones who soil it and complain about the sanitation issues. We hardly chew over the negligence. 

I personally feel that we are lacking when it comes to cleanliness of the toilets, mainly the schools. Only one in a hundred schools will have washrooms that many will feel relaxed with. 

Because of our negligence and poor attitudes, many toilets are now becoming functionless and abandoned. Consequently, we are the ones who are victimized during the times of emergencies. I am sure there isn’t anyone who hasn’t dealt with the dire situation. 

To bring to light and to create awareness among the people around the globe, December 19 is observed as the World Toilet Day. The central idea is the right to sanitation. 

Billions around the world don’t own a proper toilet. Recent studies show that more than half a population has access to cell phones than toilets. Outbreak of water and air borne diseases has been closely attributed to poor toilets and other sanitation problems. Moreover, it has also impacted the overall cleanliness of the community in some parts of the world.

Now with much awareness and advocacy on the rising concerns of sanitation, I hope to have change first in the mindset and then acquire love for cleaning toilets, regardless of everything.
Let us all pledge to keep our toilets clean and promise to spread the joy of clean toilet everywhere. 

Mahatma Gandhi said “sanitation is more important than independence”

December 3, 2013

Books and looks

The little angels
At this digital age, it’s too rare to find someone who comes to borrow books from a public library or a school library. Even if one shows up, it won’t be other than some serious book lovers or students. Few are compelled to do so because of the taxing assignments or research works. But such readers are not deemed genuine since it isn’t by virtue of their will.

However, I was proven wrong when an audacious bunch of tiny girls turned up at my friend’s place desperately asking for a book. I was left speech less and baffled by those little girls. Enthralled by their love for reading, it vividly flashed me of my school days. 

Did I think of reading when I was of their age? Have I ever dared of knocking at somebody’s door looking out for books? Were I keen enough to explore the unknown? Well, apart from the text I never looked out of syllabus to find out what’s even there in the school library. All I was a voracious eater. And the only book I remember today is the “Momo monkey and Dechen”

Unlike many of us, these four angels are incredibly fond of books despite their frolicking age. My heart glowed further when they portrayed their politeness which some of us lack. 

Prying their conversation, I halted their way back home. Since I was stunned by their good habit, I couldn’t resist the itch in my brain to inquire them. Not only were they good in books but also in looks. The eldest in the group goes to class six while the other three are mates studying in class three. 

We shared a little moment together. Often so they tried escaping my sight and occasionally hid their face. But I engaged them with praises and jokes to which they responded amusingly. Soon after, four of them acquainted well with my hospitality and they didn’t even hesitate to introduce. 

Every time they had something to ask, they made it sure that they structured the language in esteemed way. Carried away by their civic sense, I could not agree more than to appreciate their attitude towards elders. 

As gratitude, I pleaded for a snap to archive the flashing reminiscences. At first, they appeared uneasy. Upon my several supplications, they accepted gladly.

But they were little displeased for they weren’t able to fetch the books. Perhaps to recompense their time and effort, I pledged them to notify my friend once he is back. They headed off merrily with giggles and waving hands.
After their leave I conceived, if students, regardless of class and age cultivate the reading habits like the tiny four, Bhutan would be constellated with wise leaders to the brim. 

Since majority of students are reluctant to books, reading custom in our country is relatively low. As the habit is also not rooted in from their early age, some have difficulty coping up with language when they grow up. 

As I aspire, I inspire everyone to snatch a copy today and ransack through, exchanging words with finest man of the centuries to discover glory ahead.