Sometimes, it can only take the untainted rose-coloured lenses of a child to think up a solution to a decades-old problem. Sans any baggage, a little girl couldn't see why the Dal Lake, considered to be the jewel of Srinagar, jewel, couldn't be cleaned if we all just "set out on our own boats" and picked out the garbage from it ourselves!
In a simple, hand-held mobile video that gained widespread media attention, the girl, named Jannat, is shown rowing her shikara across the Dal, whilst sitting in ankle-deep heaps of garbage that people have recklessly chucked into the once beautiful river that cuts through Srinagar. Encroachments and the uncontrolled growth of weeds have also contributed to the problem. Thus, in the video, the girl says that it pains her that the Dal lake is so polluted and that everyone should take it upon themselves to do a massive purge and clean it.
"Today I will show you how my father and I did a little bit of cleaning at the Dal Lake. But this is not enough. The Dal has a lot of garbage. So, I'm telling children - set out on your own boats and clean the Dal, and clean your homes too. The Dal is so nice, but it has so much garbage - and we can't let it stay this way," the video captures her saying.
In fact, this message even caught the attention of the Prime Minister, and he retweeted the video with the message - "Hearing this little girl will make your morning even better! Great passion towards Swachhata."
As the youngest Swacchh Bharat ambassador urges her own friends and family to clean the Dal, there's a much larger message here for everyone in the country - if a little one can be this invested in the cause of cleanliness, why can't we develop some civic sense and ensure that we not only stop being part of the problem, but also, become part of the solution?