Creating a better tomorrow
This blog post was written by Vibish Kashyap, a 2nd Year BTech student from Chennai, KER Revolutionary, and Reap Benefit Solve Ninja.
Since time immemorial, we have had several social and civic problems like the lack of sanitation, corruption and pollution, largely thanks to our “let it be” attitude. Our country needs several changes at present which require significant action by the people themselves.
Growing up in Hosur, a town near Bangalore, I have always seen people complaining about water scarcity, improper garbage disposal and many other issues. As a child, I always wondered if we would keep complaining and wait for miracles to solve our problems, or actually do something about it ourselves.
I was 13 when the news of the vanishing lakes in my town greatly disturbed me. I understood that in less than 15 years of these lakes would be obliterated to a dried syncline, with puddles of water here and there. What our parents and grandparents saw as lakes with an abundant supply of clean water were now looked upon as dump yards, drain- pits and cricket fields.
This was when I took a step and decided to do something about it. I told my friends about my ideas and together we pulled up our socks and took up the challenge of cleaning what used to be a beautiful lake. We went there every day for three days and at the end of day three, the lake seemed no better. Our heart sunk but we didn’t give up and summoned the help of a few other people who were inspired by us. Eventually, after a lot of hard work, the lake got better. This helped me to understand that to create a change and leave a strong impact, all you need to do is take a small step and possess some civic sense and responsibility.
I strongly feel that civic sense is not just about keeping our surroundings clean or abiding with the law, but also the motivation to take the first step to solve the problems we see around us. It also includes a strong sense of responsibility and commitment towards creating change, as well as the ownership to not wait for others, but instead inspire others.
According to me, civic sense is highly important, especially for students emerging as leaders, as it enables them to report or solve a problem and use the resources around them efficiently. I also believe that inculcating a sense of civic responsibility should be a part of education for all children as it will help students develop to be environmentally conscious, hold authorities responsibilities for the promises they make and eventually become powerful leaders themselves.
Unfortunately, with the exception of a few lessons in school or at home, not much attention is given to civic behaviour of students. Faced by academic challenges and expectations to excel in exams, both teachers and parents do not bother to educate the children about the importance of civic sense and how it could make a difference to the country as well as contribute to the betterment of their own lives. While preparation for examinations is given priority, value formation, character building and focusing on building ethical standards in children are regrettably not given enough emphasis in the school curriculum. Civic sense comes from a ‘sense of belonging’ which creates pride and a sense of ownership. We must instil social values among everyone, the younger generation specifically, until it becomes a strong intrinsic value in all of us which will then lead to a better tomorrow.