Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dirty India-root cause analysis-potential solution

The Swatchch Bharat Abhiyan initiative flagged off by our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has created a new wave of energy in the minds of the Indian Citizen.  In my earlier blog post Swatchh Bharat mission - can India afford and sustain? I had touched upon whether India can really afford and sustain such an expensive initiative.  For the solutions discovered for every single problem to sustain what we require a comprehensive fix and not band-aids. I have tried to apply the famous 5 why technique of problem solving to understand the potential causes and to get to the root of the problem.

  1. (first) Why Swatchch Bharat? because the country is dirty
  2. (second) Why the country is dirty? because there is garbage everywhere, people defecate in open
  3. (third) Why garbage everywhere? Why do people defecate in public? because the city is not cleaned, there is no scientific ways to dispose tons and tons of garbage, poor urban planning, over crowding...corruption, dysfunctional public access to clean toilets...etc.,
  4. (fourth) Why tons and tons of garbage? because people have the bad habit of throwing garbage everywhere
  5. (fifth) Why do they have bad habits? because clean habits are not reinforced, practiced, followed by all - children lack role models, education system doesn't talk about the modern day waste management
Its quite interesting that in the above assessment the real root cause of this problem is not due to the dirty streets or lack of toilets but its due to "why should I care" attitude, poor habits and values.

Can a grown adult change his / her habit and build on better value system?  Why are good habits difficult to form?  Why are bad habits difficult to give up?  

Aren't the acceptance to change' and the 'attitude to change' is very important?

So what is a habit?  Let's see the word definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary. 


 noun \ˈha-bət\
: a usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way
Mahatma Gandhi said this beautifully,

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

No wonder Gandhi was honored with the "Mahatma" title.

What is so obvious from this?  thoughts to words to habits to value to make the clean habits stick, to become our value and to further to shape India's destiny; the citizens and the system have to go through a huge change and its a big transformation.

The second favorite quote regarding habit was written by the famous Stephen R Covey,

“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” 

― Stephen R. CoveyThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Again, its obvious that only the knowledge, skill and desire will take us to places.  There are so many wonderful quotes are written on this single word Habit...some of them can be found here...

Are we all ready to go through this transformation?  Can clean India can come really from Clean Habits?

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