About Vaishnavi Vittal 17 Articles
Vaishnavi Vittal is a Bangalore-based journalist.


  1. It’s amazing that even 7 years later not only has the problem remained, it has actually has gotten worse!

  2. I agree completely, but people have to change their mindset and no amount of rules, fines or boards can do this for them. I feel parents need to inculcate these values in their children and be living examples.
    Whenever I see anyone peeing or spitting I immediately stop my vehicle and embarrass him by asking him not to do it. As a result I have been jeered at and even shouted at but I know that the next time that person will hesitate.

  3. Excellent post, highlighting the problem, which is not just spitting and peeing…but the lack of political will. When fines are collected for so many other infarctions, why is this not implemented with a will?

  4. Many ‘Nirmala’ toilets, courtesy the Infosys Foundation, were installed all over the city. But, their maintenance has been far from satisfactory. Besides, whereas toilets should remain open till late into the night after opening early in the morning, the BBMP possibly mans it on a single-shift basis, resulting in their remaining locked when they are most required. A simple and practical solution may lie in handing over the maintenance of the toilets to a local eatery for an attractive concession in property tax, and thereafter the BBMP engaging itself only in regular inspections – for more, check this link –

    And, today’s press reports say “SC tells govt to ban gutka sachets – says Centre more interested in revenue by the ‘poison’ than citizens’ health”

  5. Bravo! Ms Vittal.

    In a bracing language she has highlighted one of our most disturbing cultural inadequacies. We appear to be preoccupied with cleansing our bodies and spirits than cleaning our selves and the environment.

    The Commonfilth Games have been an unmitigated disaster in so far as putting our filth on display to the world. One of the senior organizers of the Games smeared all Indians by saying that the standards of cleanliness in India are different from others. Maybe, he was merely stating the obvious so well articulated by Vittal in CM. I just do not share the opinion of the senior pooh bah of the Commonfilth Games.

    One does not have to go to the island city-state Singapore to observe cleanliness. A day trip to any town or city in Kerala will do.

    We need to acknowledge our cultural inadequacy and remedy it. Middle-income, middle-class, middle-brow Indians can do so much by simply observing habits common elsewhere.

  6. Traveling by Bangalore buses gives you several opportunities to see natives in action regarding spitting. As soon as I get into a bus, more often than not I close the windows instead of keeping them open. If one sits in the back seat and does not close the windows, it is quite likely that some wet matter lands up on the face. Some of the spitters do wait till the bus stops. Actually the sounds of the break prompt them to clear throats and be ready to spit outside the window. It is very considerate of them except that there is a breeze often. When they are admonished, some of them do turn back and speak as though it is their right. This phenomenon is there all over the country and is quite possible one of the factors which keeps the republic united !

  7. I share your concern about the state of public health and our civic sense. My classmate a cardiologist was a frequent to Singapore and China. Once after one of his visits he lamented about the state of our hygienic conditions and the way these two places have handled the problem successfully. I reminded him that he must realize that one is a regimented democrracy, a very small place where almost every one can be kept an eye on from a height. YOu know the latest: the fines have failed as most of the offenders are rich enough to pay the fine. So they have decided to make the offender clean the street and carry garbage as a punishment!!!! In China you know what will happen if you do not follow the rules.
    The only way is to empower the people and that is what we are attempting to do by catching them young. We, a few concerned citizens, are into this community effort to facilitate the learning of the science of hygiene in schools through life-skill based learning. It is a humble attempt to put the future citzens right so that the country will be all right.About 30 schools -KVs, Government, Private schools besides Two Teacher Training Colleges, MIT and a Nursing college have are into the implementation ofthe program since 2005 and we have evolved the strategies and methods of implementing this student-centered program. This we feel is the only sustainable solution to the problem which is the cause for all the evolving health challenges.

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