With the pressure of working in a corporate environment, we all look forward to weekends; the joy extends a bit more if it’s a long weekend. Therefore, we, the people from big cities head to the nearest haven. To relax, to connect with nature and to enjoy some time with our loved ones or self, we have made the haven our detox station. But we have completely disregarded the price nature has to pay to satisfy our need to travel.
For the people of north India, especially from Delhi, Himachal Pradesh has become the go to place to travel, even if it is for a weekend. Many villages and small towns in Himachal are heavily commercialised. Such development is giving the much-needed boost to the economy of the state. But the state is slowly moving away from the quiet haven it once was.
Not more than five years ago, Kasol, a small village in Himachal Pradesh, was a visited by a handful throughout the year. But now, in 2017, Kasol could easily give competition to Shimla in terms of commercialisation. Kasol is just one example which is turning its head towards development by killing its calmness. But calmness isn’t just Kasol is paying for its development. It’s getting dirty too.
We need to realise that these small villages and towns don’t have a robust municipal corporation like one in the metros. They are dependent on us to do our bit to keep the place clean. The current situation of the streets of Kasol is no better than the back alley of a metro city slum. Water bottles, broken bottles of alcohol, wrappers of munchies all dwell up to make the place as unappealing as it can be.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan may have its setbacks but it has the heart in its right place, which is to keep our country clean. But clearly, such a strategy is fairly restricted to the metros and needs a deeper penetration in small villages and towns. More importantly, it is we, who need to take small steps to maintain sanitation if not litter the place down to its worst possible position.