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"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."
 -- Mother Teresa

Visited India twice, I love the country and its people
Article By Jie.

Being married to an Indian, I have the good fortune of visiting India twice in the last 4 years.  Before my first visit, I had serious doubts that I would enjoy my time there in India.  I did not know the language, nor was I very familiar with its culture and customs.  Just to show you how ignorant I was of the country, my impression of India prior to the visit was of snake dancing to tunes and spicy foods. 

Having visited India twice, I have fallen in love with the country and its people.  One of the things that struck me by surprise is how friendly the Indian people are.  When my husband and I first arrived at the train station in the city, Kota, Rajasthan, my in-laws and their friends greeted us with love, laughter and garlands of gorgeous and exotic flowers.  My sister-in-law’s and brother-in-law’s children met me with a sense of familiarity as if they had known me all their lives.  I immediately felt at home and at ease.  I was truly taken aback by their kindness and full acceptance. 

I was further amazed with India, when my husband and I visited the beautiful palaces and historical sites in India.  My visit to the Taj Mahal on my birthday was the highlight of the trip.  I was humbled by the elegance and serenity this world wonder.  The visit could not get better than this!

Because of this deep appreciation I have acquired for India and its people and the fact that my husband is Indian, I have started to see myself as part Indian.  With this new view, I have taken India and its development personally.  With its natural beauty and pool of intellectual talents, India is developing and advancing quickly on the world stage of economics and politics.  In preparation for its advancement as a major world-class nation, this nation must overcome many hurdles.  One of the hurdles that I have observed is its lack of waste management on a national and local level.

Although it is clear that with cheap labor, many people in India can afford to hire maids to clean their houses.  However, garbage can be seen everywhere on the streets corners and even main roads.  Animals can also be seen roaming on the streets freely which are hazardous to street safety.  Although the Indian people’s talent and ingenuity constantly amaze me, I cannot grasp the indifference they have displayed at this waste management problem.  Due to this lack of hygiene, many Indians each year suffer from diseases such as malaria which is virtually gone as a disease in countries such as the U.S. 

In order to solve this problem, India government must increase its constituents’ level of awareness on waste management.  Research on costs used treating illnesses as a result of sanitary problems should be conducted.  By quantifying this number, the government can then raise a sense of urgency in this matter.  In addition, India needs to overhaul its current garbage and street cleaning efforts.  The government can ask private companies to bid for cleaning-up projects just like construction projects.  In addition, a regular schedule for garbage collection by companies which charge a fixed fee to households can be instituted just like the system in the United States.  Finally, families that do not comply with usage of waste management companies will be fined on a regular basis.  It may seem to be a lot of work and huge amount of money and efforts to be spent on this issue.  However, if India does not correct the problem, more money will be wasted to reverse the sanitary problems as a result of lack of waste management.  The country and its people will be much better overall.

 India is becoming a powerful nation, and its people and their talent are a major factor in its success.  This advancement, however, can hampered by its lack of systematic waste management.  This problem poses a huge threat to India’s ability to increase the standard of living of its people.  Furthermore, millions of dollars are spent on treating patients with diseases that are caused by sanitary problems.  Therefore, to rectify this, India must address this issue with a sense of urgency and institute provisions to involve its citizens and private sector to engage in a “Clean India” effort!!!

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