“Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness”
By Beverly Hamby
India is not a “clean” country but they do have something to offer. People, mostly old ladies, walk around with a pointed stick, picking up paper on the streets. I was waiting on a bus in northern India when an old lady came aboard, found a gum wrapper on the floor and poked it with her stick. Got it. She carried a cloth bag, nearly filled with paper. (She also asked for money.) In India, the forests are nearly gone so nothing is wasted, including paper scraps. The entrepreneurial ladies are paid for the paper which is recycled.
Another product recycled in India is cow manure. The “sacred” cows roam everywhere, unmolested. They do make a mess but not for long. Men with wheelbarrows collect the manure and take it away. Piles are built, mixed with water to obtain the proper consistency and made, by hand, into patties the size of a dinner plate. These manure patties are then leaned against a fence to dry in the sun. This makes excellent fuel for cooking.
Isn’t this disgusting! But there is no paper and only temporary manure on the streets of India. The one thing remaining is mango seeds which someone will, no doubt, soon find a use for. The entrepreneurs of India would be ecstatic in Mexico. All this public waste would disappear in the twinkling of an eye. It has also given me some ideas on how I could make my own fortune, living here and all.
It’s also relevant to mention Singapore. Clean, clean, clean, in a word, three words. Anything that might detract from the beauty of the place is illegal. Even chewing gum. Have you ever stepped in any? I was living in Taiwan during the great “caning” fiasco a few years ago which was heavily covered by the press. An American teenager, living in Singapore, had sprayed graffiti and was sentenced to be whipped with a bamboo stick. Lawyers and an appeal to the President of the U.S. couldn’t stop the punishment. He got it, welts and all, on the derriére, requiring medical attention. He returned to Ohio, wiser, I hope.
To say that this is extreme is debatable. The Taiwanese government has called in experts from Singapore to help clean up Taiwan.