India has immense potential. It’s a nation of start-ups and a growing economy. People from all over the world want to invest in our country. Our scientists are taking us further into space with Mangalyaan being the one project we are distinctly proud of. However, there’s no denying that India has a long way to go. Our ever-growing population, pollution, traffic and cleanliness still needs to be dealt with. Here are some suggestions that would help us bridge the gap from where we are to where we intend to be.
1.Fine the jaywalkers.
It is unfair to blame the driver for road accidents that take place in our country all the time. Pedestrians too are responsible for it. A number of times, pedestrians walk in the way of motor vehicles. In fact, some of them walk even when the signal is green. Texting while crossing the road is another problem - it's extremely dangerous. Therefore, it’s necessary to impose a fine on jaywalkers. In New Zealand, the fine is up to $35 for child pedestrians, and about $45 for adult pedestrians. In Asia, Singapore and Iran consider jaywalking an offence. In the former, repeat offenders can be fined up to $1000.
2.Make provisions for disabled people
It’s disappointing to see that our cities and towns are not friendly to disabled people. In the United States, most states have designed separate delivery systems for disabled people. For instance, they have separate seats on trains and the tubes. Moreover, they also have separate washrooms and driving lanes.
3.Stick to lane driving
India has a high rate of road accidents. One way we can reduce this is by following lane driving. It’s difficult though, because people come from unimaginable directions and speed. In 2014, Gurgaon traffic police had started a drive to spread awareness on the 19 km stretch between Sirhaul and Kherki Dhaula toll plazas. To ensure people stick to lane driving, 25 policemen were deployed on the same stretch. Such awareness drives should be encouraged , and we should stick to the lanes ourselves. For instance, in London, the government has a heavy penalty on those vehicles that drive in the bus lane. People think twice before changing lanes.
4.Encourage people to use public toilets, and keep them clean.
Urinating in public places is one of India’s biggest problems. The government has made a constant effort to install public toilets, but we still don’t have enough of them. And we definitely don’t have them clean. India does have a fine on urinating in public. In fact, in June 2015, 109 people were sent to jail in Agra for the same. Still, this penalty isn’t taken seriously. According to us, we should also have a fine on keeping public toilets clean. Singapore has a fine of $500 for not flushing a public toilet. So why can’t we?
5.Force security personnel to do their job properly
There are several people to check you at airports, malls, markets, monuments, and yet terrible things have happened. This is just because these guys aren’t interested in checking the crowd properly. Agreed, there are too many people to be checked. But it's necessary for the sake of everyone's safety. The next time you see them doing a shoddy job, do remind them why they should inspect everyone properly. A tiny reminder won’t hurt them.
6. Penalise people who deface national monuments.
And stop those writing things like 'Radha loves Krishna'. Such love birds should be thrown in prison together. By writing rubbish on national monuments, we are disgracing our heritage. Our monuments are world heritage sites and should be taken care of. This is something that should come from within. In India, there is a law protecting archaeological and ancient sites, but not many people know about it. United States has severe penalty against those people who deface national monuments. People have paid up to $3400 for carving names on sandstones near heritage properties.
7.Encroachments should be removed
Encroachments do more harm than good. In case of a natural disaster, people residing in these encroachments are at most risk. Additionally, these encroachments fall onto the road and lead to traffic jams and make it difficult for ambulances and fire brigades to reach the hospital or the site of an accident. A heavy penalty should be levied on those occupying the government land.
8.Right of way for ambulances and fire brigades should be an unbreakable rule.
Ambulances and fire brigades exist so that emergencies can be handled. There’s no point of them being stuck in traffic. The government should make right of way for emergency vehicles mandatory, and citizens should abide by it. Delhi has been trying to make room for green corridors, but people still take it lightly. According to rule 219 of UK's Highway Code, one is supposed to look and listen for emergency vehicles and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. And citizens of UK abide by it because failure to follow it can lead to criminal proceedings.
9. A safe passage for animals should be a priority
There have been instances where elephants have died while crossing rail tracks. A number of cows and street dogs die on the highways every second day. Even animals deserve to be treated with care. Animal bridges are common in different parts of the world like the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. We take their land so the least we can do is give them space. In Washington state, US, a separate freeway overpass for animals has been created. It’s a remarkable effort by their government, and we too should add it to our priority list.
10.Zero tolerance towards spitting
It’s an absolute shame to see people spitting on the road. The instant reaction when someone spits on the road is ‘yuck.’ It is sad that though there is a fine on spitting in public places in most states in India, no one really follows it. In June 2015, the Maharashtra government came up with a unique anti-spitting law that combines monetary punishment with mandatory community service. If such laws could be exercised in the entire country, we’ll be a step closer to making India clean.
11. 'Let's make India clean' should be the mantra of the year
We know that India is not going to become clean in a jiffy. A number of plans are being initiated to make people aware about cleanliness. But we're nowhere near where we should be. Of course, a greater effort is required on our part, and stricter actions from the government’s side. Maybe we can take inspiration from Philippines? There are hefty laws against everyone who litters, and doesn’t dispose garbage properly.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!
69 Ways to Make India a Better Place!
August 14, 2015
by Shweta Talwar
Sixty-eight years have passed since India became free. Since it was freed from the clutches of the British till today, India has come a long way in terms of growth and development. Like it is said, “There is no rose without a thorn”, India too has its own set of problems. On the eve of 69th Independence Day, we present to you 69 changes that Indians want in India.
1. Women Safety! Respect Women.
2. Corruption-free India!
3. Every girl should have the Right to Live (no female infanticide), Right to Education and Right to Marry (no honour killing).
4. Good Governance.
5. Free and efficient healthcare for all.
6. Retirement age for politicians.
7. Control over black money.
8. Proper enforcement of laws.
9. Stricter measures for population control.
10. Reformation of education system.
11. A clean India! Proper garbage and drainage system.
12. Improved road network with no potholes or broken roads. All the villages should get ‘pakka’ roads.
13. A streamlined traffic system.
14. Investment in technology to improve drinking water quality.
15. Agriculture should be encouraged and modern agricultural techniques should be used.
16. Stricter laws should be made for unnecessary use of private vehicles; usage of public transport should be made mandatory wherever possible.
17. Power and water supply in every part of the country.
18. A mandatory education qualification should be fixed for politicians too.
19. Equality for all. Say no to reservation!
20. Controlled inflation.
21. Employment for all!
22. The police should be well-equipped and there should be more accountability.
23. Employment rules should be strengthened in both public and private sectors.
24. Care for environment. Every Indian must plant at least one tree.
25. Say no to beggars. Begging is one activity that strictly needs to be discouraged and abolished.
26. A change in the mindset of the people is highly required. The way they look at the society, social norms and individuals need a changed and a sensible approach.
27. Proper disaster management system.
28. Hassle-free government procedures.
29. Poverty eradication.
30. Increase production and usage of products that are ‘Made in India’.
31. Solar plants and rain water harvesting system should be established at maximum infrastructures.
32. Unnecessary expenditure on travel and other things by the politicians should be controlled.
33. Lavish expenditures on organising events on different occasions should be controlled.
34. A language check over the politicians.
35. Biasness on the basis of religion, caste, creed or gender should be eradicated.
36. No wastage of food anywhere. More helplines like 1098 should be started.
37. Special economic zones should be constructed in not only metro cities but also every small city, so that people do not have to migrate to the metropolitan cities for employment.
38. More playgrounds for children.
39. Adulteration should be controlled and organic food must be easily made available.
40. Equal education and employment opportunities should be provided to the transgender.
41. Job security for all.
42. Media should be more responsible.
43. Punishing fake godmen and godwomen who beguile people in the name of God.
44. Exploring presidential or other forms of government.
45. Encouraging entrepreneurship among youth.
46. Setting up more educational institutes for agriculture and related studies.
47. Reverse brain drain.
48. Implementation of Uniform Civil Code.
49. Balanced urban and rural development.
50. 100% literacy rate.
51. Respect for all cultures, religions and genders.
52. No communal disputes or riots.
53. More fast-track courts to resolve legal matters quickly and efficiently.
54. Putting a stop on unnecessary expenditure on election campaigns.
55. Complete abolition of child labour and child abuse.
56. Indian politicians need to refrain from being offensive and abusive, be it in social media or reality.
57. India must change its attitude towards debate and give up the policy of disruption.
58. Active participation in politics from the educated class and the youth.
59. Society should accept sexually abused victims as normal human beings.
60. More Wi-Fi enabled zones.
61. Well-organised emergency services at accident sites.
62. Removal of unnecessary taxes.
63. Cutting down the extravagant benefits given to the politicians or the people in power.
64. Improving the conditions of slums.
65. Shelters for stray animals.
66. Affordable home facilities.
67. Cleaning of all the rivers in India.
68. Doing away with the “Chalta Hai” attitude.
69. Promotion of Indian Culture.
These are just some of the changes that we would like to bring in India. However, the suggestions from the readers are welcomed for whatever changes they would like to see in India.
But we as Indians need to understand that to bring a change in the country, firstly we should bring a change in ourselves.