A couple of years ago I visited Delhi, Agra and Mathura. Delhi and Agra are the most famous tourist destinations in India because of the beautiful monuments like Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Red Fort etc. Mathura is also very famous pilgrim place for Hindus. One thing is very common in these and other numerous tourist destinations in India that they have serious hygiene and cleaning issues.
The most unclean places in India are religious places where the crowd is much higher and hence requires frequent cleaning in every 10 minutes. The Varanasi Temple, Puri-Konark, the whole town of Mathura, Pandharpur, Shirdi and many more temples are facing these issues. Many times the temples get ample amount for renovation but the corporate houses who are rebuilding the temples a lot a very less amount for long time maintenance. That’s why the places soon become a big ‘garbage tins.’
The ‘garbage tin’ condition is also seen at the beaches, monuments, jungles, forts and other tourist destinations.
Unclean Beaches & Forests
The beach at Puri is very famous among fish lovers. Every evening you can get fresh fried fish at the beach. The beach was facing severe garbage issues. But with the help of local bodies and Tourism Ministry the beach is slowly being cleaned up.
Forests covers nearly 20% land in India. We have very diverse flora and fauna. Many plant and species found in Himalaya and Sahyadri ranges are very rare. Many tourists visit forests for camping and adventure tourism. When they leave the place they leave them unclean. They dump garbage like plastic bags, cans etc. In Himalaya the issue of leaving empty oxygen cylinders back on the mountain hills became a grave issue and the locals protested against it. This highly affects the eco system of the area.
Clean Toilets & Hygiene Issues
When a place is proposed as a tourist destination, various facilities for tourists are introduced but the hygiene issue is neglected.
In India, we don’t have enough clean number of toilets at tourist destinations. The toilets are clogged, unclean and often lack enough facilities for providing water too. This causes various health issues like diarrhea, malaria and dengue fever, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tetanus to foreign as well as domestic tourists.
India is an ideal tourist destination for tourists across the world but the unhygienic surroundings around popular destinations have created a negative impact of the places and the country as a whole. Many tourists avoid going to specific destinations because of hygiene issues. This highly affects the locals who are working at the tourist destinations. This also affects the economy of the area and also creates a negative impact among tourists.
Clean India! Incredible India!!
But to cop-up with this issues Indian Tourism Ministry has taken some good steps by introducing ‘Clean India Campaign’. Their main aim is to introduce clean and hygienic tourist destinations. They have taken help of various NGO’s in this work. But here public participation is also very important. The ‘Clean India Campaign’ believes in creating awareness among shop keepers and common people to keep the tourist destinations clean and healthy.
Awareness campaigns in schools and colleges have a positive impact. But here the awareness is important not only among children but also among adults. Because many a times children copy their parents so if the parents are spitting on roads, not properly using toilets, throwing garbage on the roads or in the corner of any monuments instead of any garbage tin, this sets a wrong example for the children.
So it’s our responsibility along with the government and NGOs to keep the tourist destinations neat and clean.
Disha’s Tip of the Day
- Keep a small garbage bag with you while travelling. Put the waste inside the bag instead of throwing them around. Dump the bag in the garbage tin after returning back to your hotel or home.
- Do not spit on the roads. Keep a separate bag in your hands so you can spit in those instead of ‘coloring’ roads and buildings.
- Pour water in toilets after using them. If you can’t find a clean and hygienic toilet at a particular tourist destination, head towards the restaurant or hotel and use the facility there.
- If you are eating street food, make sure that its made in a good and hygenic atmosphere.
- Always keep a small bottle of hand-sanitizer with you.
- Always carry fruits or light eatables with you. Because many tourist destinations do not provide good food facilities.
- Do not throw plastic or glass bottles in forests. Make sure that you are not leaving behind any garbage which will be harmful for the tourist destinations.