If you’re in India, it’s not uncommon to see someone roll down their car windows and either unleash a huge wad of spit or chewing tobacco from their mouth straight onto the roads, or causally toss a snack wrapper out. Though fines exist for strewing garbage in public places, littering is so deeply embedded in most Indians’ psyche that it’s not given second thought.
But recently, two travellers were shamed for their act of littering so bad that it cost them a long drive and their self-esteem to rectify their mistake.
On October 30, the duo flung pizza boxes from their car onto the road, in the south Indian town of Madikeri in the state of Karnataka. According to a report by Bangalore Mirror, Madetira Thimmaiah—the general secretary of the Kodagu Tourism Association—saw the boxes thrown on the road around 2:15 PM on the same day.
Thimmaiah had cleaned the area with the help of some members of Kadagadalu village panchayat on October 28. So when he saw the boxes carelessly flung onto the cleaned-up area, he was really disappointed. But he did not give up.
After going through the litter, he found a receipt in one of the boxes with the phone number of the travellers. He then called them and requested them to come back and collect the garbage from the road.
The duo refused to return as they had travelled ahead but the general secretary was not willing to take no for an answer. He then asked the local police station to call the travellers, but the duo still refused to return.
After giving several warnings to the travellers to return and collect the garbage, a social media campaign was launched, which left them so red-faced that they had no choice but to head back.
While it’s not clear if they had to pay a fine or what measures are being taken to avoid such incidents, maybe sending souvenirs across to perpetrators might just work.
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