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Swachh Bharat: When ‘aam aadmi’ does something ‘khaas’

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By Ural Sharma

Lajpat Nagar Central market, (New Delhi): I went to Lajpat Nagar today after ages, in order to shop for a pair of ethnic earrings and chappals, trying to relive my LSR days and also binge on some lip smacking Ram Laddoos , Golgappe and Aunty’s momos.

Although I must admit that neither the chappals were able to fascinate my feet nor the eateries were able to tantalize my taste buds, what did attract my attention was the responsible citizenship demonstrated by two street vendors aka two AAM AADMIs!

While on one hand a man selling bangles by the roadside chided a well educated girl (who must be in her 20s) for throwing away a disposable cup next to his kiosk, on the other hand a bhelpuri wallah caustically drew the attention of his customer to the dustbin when he carelessly flicked the used spoon on the ground.

In the first instance, the girl refused to pick up the trash saying that it was not his house that she had dirtied and she threw the glass because other people had littered the place already. When the bangle seller retorted that it was HIS house indeed, she carried the altercation further, asking him to prove where his name was written.

Ironically, rather than making amends for her folly she chose to provide lame arguments justifying her action and thereafter stomped off! And how convenient we become when mocking the government on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan being a mere symbolism!

This incident made my thoughts drift back to the time when I served as a teacher in an MCD school as a part of my Teach For India fellowship. While the pathetic plight of government schools is a fact well known and needs no elaboration, what really needs to be highlighted is the vehemence with which any attempt to improve that plight is resisted.

My Principal had once blasted me for covering an extremely filthy looking door with a curtain in order to make the classroom more aesthetically pleasing for my students. When I tried to explain my point of view she retaliated saying that this was not my home.

“It’s an MCD school. MCD schools are supposed to be dirty. Jo jaisa hai rehne do. Zyaada MCD ko badalne ki koshish mat karo!”

These kinds of incidents are a grim reminder of the attitude which we have internalized that public places are meant to be dirty and what needs to be kept clean is only one’s own house.

That’s where one’s duty ends. I wonder when will, WE, the people of India, begin to consider our entire country as an integrated whole- our HOMEland and start making attempts to nurture it in the same way as we do our homes.

(The author is a New Delhi based social activist. This article was written exclusively for NewsGram.)

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  • Rahul P

    This is india bro…koi kisise nahi darta..koi rules nahi follow karta..sab koi kisi na kisiko jaanta hai!..sad but true!

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10 Best Places To Visit In Delhi

The capital of India, Delhi is one massive city where you can find people from all walks of life.

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Delhi has many places which you must visit to get yourself acquainted with history and culture of India as a whole. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi has many places which you must visit to get yourself acquainted with history and culture of India as a whole. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • Delhi is the capital of India and attracts tourists from all walks of life
  • Delhi has many tourist destinations which attract all kinds of people
  • Delhi has something for everyone and has many places which one can visit

The capital of India, Delhi is one massive city where you can find people from all walks of life. Delhi is full of culture and history, it has something for everyone who comes to visit or live here. From modern nightclubs to old, historical monuments, there is nothing you won’t find in Delhi.

Delhi is one of the major tourist attractions of India. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi is one of the major tourist attractions of India. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi has various places which one can visit. You can be a religious person, history buff, science nerd or an art enthusiast or anything else, Delhi will definitely have something to offer you. Here is the list of 10 best places to visit in Delhi to quench your thirst for history, culture and entertainment.

India Gate

India Gate is one place which you definitely shouldn’t miss while you’re in Delhi. India Gate is one of the best places to visit in Delhi because of its beautiful parks and the ever-burning ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti.’ The area around India Gate is one of the cleanest and you should definitely not miss it during the evening when the place is full of food, people and jest.

India Gate is one the best places to visit in Delhi. Pixabay
India Gate is one the best places to visit in Delhi. Pixabay

Qutub Minar

One of the world’s tallest building, Qutub Minar has beautiful architecture and lots of history attached to it. You can click photographers, sit in the lush green lawns and enjoy amazing food while you’re in its compound. You can also visit Chhatarpur Temple near it, which is yet another place to visit in Delhi.

Qutub Minar is surrounded by lush green garden on all sides. Wikimedia Commons
Qutub Minar is surrounded by the lush green garden on all sides. Wikimedia Commons

Swaminarayan ‘Akshardham Temple’

Akshardham Temple is a relatively new tourist attraction. It is one of best places to visit in Delhi because of its beautiful architecture and peaceful environment. The temple will not disappoint you even if you’re not a religious person. The museum inside is definitely worth a visit as it takes you through various ages of India’s development.

Hindu Temples
Akshardham Temple is one the must-visit places in Delhi (www.akshardham.com)

Red Fort

Red Fort is another one of the tourist’s favourite destination to visit in Delhi. It is of great significance historically and politically. It is one of the top names when it comes to Delhi’s points of interest. In the day you can visit museums and soak the history while at night, you can enjoy the fabulous light and sound show.

Red Fort in Delhi is a place for both the history and political science buffs. Pixabay
Red Fort in Delhi is a place for both the history and political science buffs. Pixabay

The Bahai or Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple is definitely one of best places to visit in Delhi. It is a heaven for all the photographers out there. It is also famous for its quiet and tranquil environment. It is one of the best places to visit quietly and meditate in Delhi.

Night view of Lotus Temple. Wikimedia Commons
Night view of Lotus Temple. Wikimedia Commons

Jama Masjid

If you’re talking Delhi, you just can’t forget to mention Jama Masjid. Jama Masjid is huge and is famous for its beautiful architecture. You can sit in its compound for as long as you like and can even enjoy a picnic there with your friends or family. You can also climb up the tall Minar which will give you a full view of Old Delhi. Near it, you can visit Kebab shops and restaurants which will serve you with some of the best Mughlai food ever.

The Jama Masjid is not only a place to worship but also a place to enjoy small picnics to enjoy with friends and family. VOA
The Jama Masjid is not only a place to worship but also a place to enjoy small picnics to enjoy with friends and family. VOA

Chandani Chowk

Chandani Chowk is the economic hub of Delhi. From clothing to food, there is nothing you won’t find here. Visit the ‘Paranthe Wali Gali’ to experience some of the best Delhi food. You can also visit the famous ‘Old and Famous Jalebi Wala’ for a Jalebi and Rabri combination like never before. The place may seem crowded but it is definitely worth a visit if you really want to experience the essence of Delhi.

Chandni Chowk is famous for the amazing food which one can get there. Wikimedia Commons
Chandni Chowk is famous for the amazing food which one can get there. Wikimedia Commons

Purana Quila 

When we are talking about the best places to visit in Delhi, we just cannot forget the Old Fort. It is one of the most ancient and largest forts in India. It spans around in an area of 2 km. You can enjoy sightseeing and learn about the place. Apart from that, you can also enjoy boating in the lake inside the Old Fort.

Also Read: 10 llittle-knownfacts about Delhi Metro which makes it distinct

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

Located near the Connaught Place, Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous tourist places in Delhi. It is beautifully structured and the lake in the middle is where you can sit comfortably and enjoy the view of various fishes inside it. Near the Gurudwara, you can also visit the famous Hanuman Mandir on one side and the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church on the other.

Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous place of worship of Sikhs in Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous places of worship of Sikhs in Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

National Rail Museum

There are a plethora of museums which you can visit in Delhi, but out of all those National Rail Museum stands out because of a variety of rail models – be it static or working, or small or big. You can also enjoy a toy train while you are visiting the museum!