Making a change in Mumbai – Ugly Indian and Mumbai Rising


In all the negative feelings I’ve feel like I’ve had come to the surface lately, I was happy to see a social media post about some clean up that was happening in Bangalore. The idea was basic: Don’t wait for someone else to make the change – BE that change. Isn’t that the theme that most Western people think of with India? All those Gandhi-isms? I know after being here I have felt (at times) that very few people live those thoughts that are so iconic of India from those who haven’t been here.




There it is! The Ugly Indian is inspiring change and it is happening! In fact, Mumbai Rising is doing it too!

The Ugly Indian asks,

Why is the Right to Litter a fundamental right in India ?

If you’re in Mumbai and want to make a change, check out their site and register to volunteer. Make a change in Mumbai  or where ever you are. If you’re in the US, don’t wait for Earth Day to do something. The small things matter.

You can make a change in Mumbai!

I know my kids tell their friends not to litter, and this upcoming generation has to be taught to not litter. Consider the trash that’s being made. Know that trash sorters have a place in society and not to be overlooked. Until we segregate all of our trash, have more composting going on, kabaadiwallas shouldn’t be overlooked as the downtrodden. They prevent a lot of waste from going un-recycled. But, by segregating trash and calling for the recycle-walla we can help prevent the trash and recycleables from making their way on to the streets and footpaths.

Their website may not have optimal “choose where you want” to go but here’s an example of the change in a footpath (sidewalk).

ugly indian making change cleaning up india
The Ugly Indian is making changes – Here are a few shots from their website showing the change happening. Inspire, be. DO.

The difference is that there’s actually a footpath.  A place to walk. It keeps people off the street so that really helps safety as well.

A few Benefits of Getting and Keeping it Clean

  1. Less likely to have disease spread
  2. Fewer bugs/mosquito breeding areas
  3. Trash doesn’t make it into the nullas (streams)
  4. Smells better
  5. Looks better

The government cleans and does what they can, and picks up trash among many areas. On top of that the issue that people seriously throw trash out the windows of their cars, out of their windows of their homes… it takes more than just “waiting” for someone else to do it.

I’m extremely happy to see these changes and volunteers coming forward.

To this, I say, Great job! Ugly Indian, Mumbai Rising – You really ARE making a change in Mumbai. You really are making a change in India. If today’s generation SEES things done well, cleaned and “unugly” then they’ll keep it that way. THAT will be their norm.

Thank you!

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  1. What a great campaign! I didn’t realize littering was such a problem there. I’m glad some folks are taking steps to make a change.

  2. What a great quote “Don’t wait for someone else to make the change – BE that change”. Its true ever little bit helps to make a bigger change.

  3. That’s great that there are people stepping up to make it a cleaner place. Litter always irritates me, so I try to pick it up myself when possible.


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