January 11, 2010

People complain about the state of our country a lot. People also complain about the state of our city a lot. People definitely complain about the state of their street a lot. and people love complaining that their fridge is too loud, and their neighbours are too cold.

People tend to complain a lot, apparently.

This isn’t a bad thing, and I’m definitely not saying it is. It isn’t a great thing, either. It sort of shows that people care about where they live, and how they live in it. But there’s a distinct disconnect between what people are saying, and what people are doing.

There seems to be a general feeling of ‘Arrey yaar… let him take care of it, no? Why me?’ going around town. This isn’t very new. I believe the scientific term for this feeling is called ‘laziness’. Laziness is a dangerous thing, these scientists say. They say it’s very contagious, and to make sure to wash thoroughly once in contact with it. There’s no easy cure for it. Once the bug is caught, it’s extremely hard to get rid of.

What we’re trying to do at ROB, is make people understand that it isn’t someone else’s problem. It is, in fact, our problem. Laziness isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. It’s going to effectively doom us all to hell, but apart from that, it achieves near nothing.

Why is it our problem? ‘Cause if there’s a problem around where we live, then it should be our problem. Firstly, because it’s where we live. If we aren’t going to care about that, there isn’t much else to care about, and secondly, because there’s a chance we’re contributing to that problem.

Let’s take our (meaning ROB’s) favourite example, of the beach. Specifically, Besant Nagar beach.

There’s a lot of garbage down at besant nagar beach. A lot of it also doesn’t belong there. If you see a ‘surf excel’ packet there, it isn’t likely that people wash clothes there. Someone’s obviously dumped something in the Adyar estuary, which carried down stream, and washed up on the shore.

A solution to this problem? Generate less garbage.

How does one generate less garbage? Instead of buying new pens, buy new refills. Better yet, use a fountain pen and ink. Don’t buy as much packaged items. You might think you really need that packet of Lays right now, but you probably don’t.

It’s quite simple, but we seem to be waiting for some sign from the gods that it’s okay to not pollute.

It just takes some getting-off-our-backsides. Not a lot of it, just a little.

Krishna, ROB


4 days in….

January 5, 2010

Four days into 2010 and things are looking up a bit.

The campaign’s gaining momentum and everyone seems to be bursting with creativity. Hurrah!

We have some outreaches coming up in schools and colleges. Also, we’re doing posters and pamphlets.

Volunteers always welcome of course 🙂

Anyway, so having realised past New Year Resolutions about ‘not littering’, till it’s a behaviour pattern thing now, this year, my Resolution is- get as many people as possible to pick up their own trash.

Seen that scooty ad? The one with the plastic bottle dumped out of a car window etc. etc.? Well, that’s going to be my style this year. If you think it’s a good resolution, or just a good idea in general, here’s a plan of how to proceed.

Walk in front of people and ask them politely to pick up their bag/paper/can/packet/wrapper/peel/plate/cup….(and on till the cows come home). And some people will.

But some may not- so what do you do? If you’re alone (and the litterer is not!), content yourself with mutterings  and pick up the item and throw it away. If you’re not alone and there’s a decent size crowd around, sneer, say “Litterbug” as loudly as you can and then pick it up and throw it away, walking across the litterer’s path.
(NOTE: This is even more effective if the litterer is alone!
NOTE: Litterbug- person who litters. NOT to be confused with shutterbug, most likely the guy with you clicking this lovely scene!)

Then again, there are the other  loud remarks e.g. “Dustbins exist for a reason!” (Which work of course, only if there’s a dustbin nearby. So not advisable for most of Elliot’s Beach stretch.)

However, all this works only with a lack of inhibition. Hence, my other resolution, to not let ‘image’ and ‘what will other people think’ bother me too much this year.  Which goes right in hand with my 1(b) Resolution: Learn to pick up other people’s trash. Cleanliness is larger than you and me.
Yuck and all…but I will!

However, a word of caution, many poor fools litter because they don’t know any better. They shouldn’t be ridiculed. They should be educated. If they have mental blocks against learning and new ideas and express this- go right ahead and scoff.

And have a GREAT year 😀

Akhila’s Resolutions:

  • Make people pick up their own trash; clean up after themselves
  • Learn to pick up other people’s trash. It’s for the ‘greater good’!
  • Give up on hang-ups about attracting attention/what people will think. Go right out and embrace stares 🙂

Akhila, ROB

Inside A Newsroom

December 19, 2009

Yesterday was the first time I’ve been in a TV newsroom, ever.

It’s totally worth the experience.

To elaborate :

The car from the TV channel first came and picked us up, and 6 :45, for an 8: 30 live broadcast, although it was about twenty something minutes away. Once we get there, we’re driven into this HUGE area, with several corporations/businesses in it, and NDTV Hindu being just one of them. At the gate, the driver lets us go, and someone else takes over, taking us to NDTV’s office, where someone else takes over, and guides us to the head honcho’s lair. Incidentally, she was extremely sweet to us, asking us about our campaign, and what we found on the beach.

Back to the story.

We got a really fast guided tour of the office, who does what and all that, and then were made to wait in these two chairs, right in the middle of the hall, where we had a glorious view of everyone rushing around, looking in a hurry, and really busy. Sid, unsurprisingly, happened to meet a couple of people he knew.

The way these poor journalists were running around, was quite like they were on fire. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it wouldn’t seem out of place, if one of them barged into your office, looked at you with these large, bulging eyes, and said


and then turned around and left.

I found out four things there:

A) The banter that the news readers do, is completely a show. They start about six seconds before they go on air.

B) Reading a teleprompter is hard. They’ve got this little knob thingummy, under their table, which they turn to move the teleprompter forward or backward, so they can read it easily. And the chap who types out the stuff on the prompter, has a heck of a job. Spelling mistakes would be quite hilarious.

C) The news readers also find reading some stuff from the prompter either funny/stressing. There were times when both the readers were sighing sighs of relief when they went into breaks. And another when one of them could just about hide her smile at the news.

D) Being a journalist would be fun. Stressful, though.


Krishna, ROB