The Swachh Survekshan 2020 report released by the Union Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry ranked Indore the cleanest city in India for the fourth time in a row, followed by Surat in the second place, and Navi Mumbai in the third place respectively. This survey of sanitation was carried out in over 4000 cities across India for a period of 28 days. As per reports, the citizens of Indore were elated with the news. 

This also serves as a wake-up call to citizens in other cities about their own civic responsibility. In order to be a contributing member to your city, society and community, there are some very simple things you can be mindful of on an everyday basis.

5 Ways To Be A More Responsible Citizen

It doesn’t take much to be a more responsible citizen. All you need is some discipline and civic sense. You need to treat your city as you would your home, and the citizens as you would your friends, or someone you know.

1. Be An Active Volunteer

There’s no dearth of volunteering options in every community. And to be an active volunteer, all you need to do is cultivate a sense of responsibility. Take part in volunteering activities like cleaning playgrounds, school campuses, neighbourhood areas, and even city sidewalks. Being an active volunteer is a great way to dedicate some time to your city in an organised manner. You can also be a volunteer in spreading awareness about the need of the hour, that is, to keep your city clean and proper use of the dustbins. Spread the knowledge about the benefits of sustainable living, recycling, and caring for the environment at such drives. 

You can learn more about how to become eco-conscious and adopt a sustainable lifestyle here.

Did You Know?

Indore established ‘the eighth pledge’ in their wedding rituals which includes the newlyweds to adopt an oath of cleanliness? Dustbins are also distributed during wedding ceremonies in the city.

2. Teach Kids & Youth The Importance Of The Environment

Always believe in the fact that each generation needs to be better than the last. Kids and youth are the building blocks of society. Parents and teachers need to teach them not just about being kind to each other, but about being kind to the world around them as well. They should be taught to make decisions that benefit the world as a whole, and this should start young so that it becomes part of the fabric of their being. The environmentally-sound habits we learn and the eco-conscious choices we make today are extremely important for a sustainable future.

3. Take Responsibility For Your Actions

While we are quick to point out other people’s mistakes, many of us don’t receive it as graciously. For instance, if your child has thrown a plastic bag on the road or your husband puts out a cigarette butt on the sidewalk and someone calls them out for it, apologise, pick up your trash, and throw it in the bin instead of getting defensive. Remember, they don’t know you; they’re not out to get you specifically. We are all playing our part as responsible citizens of the society.

4. The Importance Of 3 R’s

Learn to follow the 3 Rs—Reducing, Reusing, & Recycling. Conserve water and reduce waste; reuse shopping bags and vegetables for compost; recycle your trash and containers. India has a long way to go in terms of community gardening but we can make sure as individuals we adopt the practice of terrace gardening and growing our own seasonal vegetables. 

The residents of Indore for example, carry dustbins in their cars to avoid public littering. There is a system of door-to-door waste collection and children are made brand ambassadors for keeping the city clean. 

5. Be A Good Neighbour

Being a good neighbour comes with a lot of duties like obeying parking laws, keeping your place clean, keeping noise pollution in check, and so on. To be a respectful citizen you will need to handle problems maturely. For instance, if you share a common area with your neighbour, take turns keeping it neat and tidy; similarly, respect your neighbours by not leaving uncovered trash bags in the common areas; similarly, pick up your dog’s poop at the building dog park or if your pet relieves themselves in the lift or common area.

Indore has clearly followed its 4 rule-structure and won the cleanest city award four times in a row but that doesn’t mean your city can’t. Employ the above tips in your city to be the change you wish to see.