Wednesday, 8 July, 2009

Who will scoop the poop?

A few places in Mumbai have the look of a well-maintained city. Marine Drive is one of them. Neat, long promenade, a broad seawall-cum-parapet where you can sit, relax and enjoy the sea breeze, no hawkers to pester you – all these have been made possible by the corporation along with the active participation of the residents’ welfare association.

But there has been one persistent problem – dog poop. Dog walkers too find the promenade interesting. The relaxed dogs relieve themselves on the walkway, to the disgust of others using the promenade. Reportedly, many have been unfortunate enough to step on the poop and skid. Now, the corporation has issued a final warning to dog owners who walk their dogs on the promenade to either clean up after their pets or face a ban from using the promenade for dog-walking. The rule is to be implemented from August.

This has sparked a debate about the where the responsibility of the corporation ends and the dog owners’ begin. Apparently, quite a few dog owners argue that it’s not their responsibility to clean after their dogs. Two years back, columnist Tavleen Singh claimed to be doing ‘civil disobedience’ when she refused to clear the excreta of her dog or pay the fine. Her argument was that the rule was not being enforced in other parts of the city and that the authorities did not provide plastic bags to pick up the poop. Reports also said that she wanted BMC to stop people from defecating in public before expecting her to scoop her dog’s poop. Phew! I’ve swore not to ever read her columns.

I wonder why supposedly educated people make such silly arguments. Will any human being defecate in public, provided he/she has a choice? People live without a roof over their heads and lead a hand-to-mouth existence. They can’t stop attending to calls of nature until after they have access to proper toilets. And there are limits to what any civic body can do without the cooperation of public. If people like Singh decide to obey laws only after everyone else follows them, they need not follow any law in our country.

I am not sure how the fight between the corporation and Singh ended. But I guess she would not have paid the fine.

When will we stop blaming others and take responsibility for our actions? When will we start ‘being the change what we wish to see in the world’? Till then, who will scoop the poop?


The one who has loved and lost 8 July 2009 at 4:11 pm  

I hate such columnists who give million reasons for their own atrocious actions/beliefs.
These people misuse their talent for words to suit their convenience.

Hope the law comes into effect and is implemented without exceptions!

Nikhil Narayanan 8 July 2009 at 5:13 pm  

Reading T's comment,I am reminded of the Lalettan dialogue Ahangaarathinu kaiyyum kaalum vach orronine ingott vidu


Bindhu Unny 10 July 2009 at 10:07 pm  

Deepu: Walk the talk is not always easy. :-)
Thanks for the vote. :-)

Nikhil: ha ha ha. pattiya dialogue.

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