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Wasting the Leader in You

Updated: May 20, 2023

I used to be a rebel during my JEE days. You can credit it to the kind of motivation we usually receive in that phase or whatever. Our coaching center was in a commercial complex, and we often used to stay back till late to ask our doubts (flexing me being a member of the topper batch). While we came out that day, we saw a middle-aged man eating something, dropping its packet right there, and walking away. While my friends and I were walking behind him, we did give each other a look. It might seem to be a prevalent scenario, but as I told we were a rebel! So, I just took that packet in my hand, waved, and shouted, “Uncle!! You dropped something by mistake! Is this yours?” . Everyone around stared at us, and the complex was never as silent as it was then. But this wasn’t enough for me. So, I further added, “Oh oops! It’s an empty food packet. I am so sorry! Actually, I didn’t expect anyone could drop it here like this. Should I?”.

Well, the guy was a decent being and immediately apologized. He took the packet from me and threw it in the dustbin. I have tried this couple of times more, and it worked! The other person used to feel ashamed of what he did, and that is what should happen! But an important point here is, how many of us actually feel guilty when we cannot throw waste in the bin? I am not blaming humankind as there can be many reasons for the same. There may be no dustbins around, no proper segregation, or the trash was feeling claustrophobic inside the bin and hence came for a stroll nearby, making the vicinity too fragrant. But these all issues come only when we decide that this waste, I have in my hand has to be thrown in the designated place.

The irony here is, nobody likes waste, but everyone is responsible for it. Here is another interesting incident: I was out with my family for a shopping trip. My father bought a soft drink for my brother and me. After finishing, we searched for a dustbin (flexing me being a responsible citizen), which apparently, we were unable to find. So, we asked the shopkeeper about it.

“Udhar side me daal do!”, (throw it over that side!) he said pointing to a heap of plastic bottles and packets lying nearby.

“But uncle, there is no dustbin there.”

“Chalega, sab udhr hi daalte hai!”(It's alright, everyone throws it there!)

So here is another major issue. We are not throwing wastes in the dustbins, but we are actually creating dustbins of our own. ‘Everyone throws it here!’ is an interesting argument. Because when one person threw his belonging (yes, your trash is your belonging!) on the roadside, it was trash. When the other people added theirs to it, it became a trash can!

What are we supposed to do then? Take the initiative! Acknowledge the importance of those green and red dustbins distributed by the Government, which you might have been using as buckets in your home until now. We might not be successful in doing what we want, but why carry the regret of doing nothing about it throughout our lives? One attempt brings about a change. A will to change something wrong defines a leader and not the understanding of that wrong. Let there be a heap of waste around. You go and throw your trash in the dustbin and let the people look at you and feel ashamed. Not being able to handle your waste correctly is something to be deemed guilty and ashamed about! Do the right thing, no matter what. No argument in the world can exempt you from it. Think about it, where is the actual trash? Author: Raavi Patel, Junior Undergraduate, IIT Gandhinagar Image credits:

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