Litter Louts Manifest Uncouth Behaviour of Society

The Holy Prophet (S) said “Try to be clean as much as you are able to. Verily, the foundation of Islam is based on cleanliness. Hence, never can a person enter Paradise but the clean ones” (Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, Tradition 26002). It reflects that we should strive to constantly cleanse ourselves not only as an act of faith but as preparation for the Hereafter.

It’s quite relevant to the current pandemic situation. For many scholars, recent guidelines for COVID-19 are completely in accordance with what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) practised in his lifetime and insisted on his followers doing to enhance both personal and public hygiene. Adil Bebek, an emeritus professor of divinity at the Marmara University intends that Islam’s emphasis on cleanliness and its anti-pandemic rules could make a serious difference for Muslims to protect themselves from the deadly pandemic. Certain activities at public places are normally evaded like coughing, sneezing, speaking in a loud way and snuggling into someone else in a very close range where your germs could be passed from one to another. As an overseas Pakistani, I learnt that the nations who made headway in their lives acquiesced to the rules of cleanliness as part of their social manifesto. It provides the basis for a healthy and progressive society.

As we all know care, etiquette and proper behaviour with politeness are inbred in a civilized society. R.J. Rummel (The Conflict Helix, 1976) says that behaviour comes in many forms; blinking, eating, reading, dancing, shooting, rioting, and warring. What then distinguishes social behaviour? Peculiarly social behaviour is oriented towards other-selves. Such behaviour apprehends another as a perceiving, thinking, moral, intentional, and a behaving person; considers the intentional or rational meaning of the other’s field of expression; involves expectations about the other’s acts and actions; and manifests an intention to invoke in another-self certain experiences and intentions. Examples of social acts would be courtship, helping another run for a political office, teaching, buying a gift, or trying to embarrass an enemy. The social act is any intention, aim, plan, purpose, and so on which encompasses another self. These may be affecting another’s emotions, intentions, or beliefs; or anticipating another’s acts, actions, or practices.

Litter louts in Pakistan urged me to think about whether they are taken into account in their acts, actions, or practices. What irritates me after landing in my homeland is littering around roadsides. Moreover, the same phenomenon is rampant in urban areas. It seems that people are quite willing to throw litter wherever they are but think someone else should clear it up after them.

Litter louts are one of the major causes of environmental pollution which leads to several viral diseases. People should not create pollution by throwing wrappers of various eatable items, soft drinks bottles and cigarettes butts at public places as these littering things spoil the environment for other visitors who could not enjoy the public places due to the untidy environment.

After enjoying their food, the public litters their wrappers and empty bottles over there without taking care of other people, although dust-bins are installed on various locations.

I am taken aback to see educated people spitting openly, throwing empty wrappers in the market that is against the etiquettes and does not suit a gentleman to spread viral diseases for other people in public places.

The need of the hour is to urge the concerned authority to take stern action against litter louts which are spoiling the image of the country. Authorities through social media and workers must launch anti-littering campaign time and again to create awareness amongst the general public about the health hazards of littering garbage at public and recreational points. Along with this, a large number of dustbins must be installed in different places to keep the environment neat and clean so that people may not throw these materials at the open places intentionally that cause pollution. Unfortunately, there are those too lazy, ignorant or uncaring who will remain obstinately deaf to such pleas and for them, more effective administration at the tehsil and district level is required. CCTV might be possible to identify some of the litter odious and have a reception party ready to march them back to the scene of their crime for a bit of litter-picking. Far more effective could be a fixed penalty charge.

I love Amanda Laverty’s lines that Earth Day is every day and we always are encouraging others to get involved and support efforts working toward a clean environment and healthy planet. Our oceans are filled with items that do not belong there. Huge amounts of consumer plastics, metals, rubber, paper, textiles, derelict fishing gear, vessels, and other lost or discarded items enter the marine environment every day, making marine debris one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world’s ocean and waterways.

The ultimate solution to the problem lies with every single one of us—preventing marine debris in the first place. First, consider how you might personally contribute to debris and follow the “4Rs” whenever possible— Refuse unnecessary single-use items, like plastic straws or cutlery when possible; Reduce the amount of waste you produce by choosing products with less packaging; Reuse items when you can and choose reusable items over disposable ones; and Recycle as much as possible— bottles, cell phones, ink cartridges, and many other items can be recycled. Next, spread the word to others! Tell your family, friends, community, and more about this important issue and what they can do to help.

Doing our part to work toward a sustainable and debris-free planet, we’ll also be providing others with inspiration and a good example to follow. As individuals, we have the potential to make a big difference and together we can change the world. I wish to see long live, clean and green Pakistan.


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