Things and People can change

Often in India you feel hopelessly helpless as regards making any change or improvements to the system or the people. However I have felt that things can change.
For example:
1) Spitting on the roads is a very common and disgraceful practice in India. A few years back, I would have shouted at such people but lately I tell them “Arey mitra ka kartoes asa. Ha aplach rasta ahe na” That is Marathi for (Friend why do you do this? Isn’t this our road?). And the results have been astonishing. Most people feel embarassed about their deed and either give a lame excuse like cough problem or a guilty smile. Never have a got into an argument over this. Although I am sure the person would not have stopped spitting from that time, I am also sure that I have helped him take a small step towards being a better person.

2) Recently I and my family were at Ramoji city in Hyderabad and we came across some 4 or 5 people having icecream and discarding their icecream cups right there, not bothering to use the dustbin. Again I politely asked them if they could use the dustbin just 10 feet away? Surprisingly, all of them had a discussion over this followed by each of them dumping all their garbage in the dustbin.
I am sure if I shouted at them, not only would they have not heard me out, but we would have had a lose-lose situation. I might have got beaten up and they would have not changed.

3) Indian Railways have the largest network on the planet but I do not know why they are so averse to maintaining easy to use dustbins. So throwing all garbage out the window is the rule in India. Even this can change. Whenever we travel , we just hang a garbage bag in our section and ask the people around us to not throw their garbage out but instead use this bag or the dustbin provided in every compartment. Most people would willingly stop throwing garbage out the window.

I am convinced that everybody wants to do the right thing and it’s just circumstances that make people do the wrong things. People can change if you are polite, do not confront them and try o help them instead of scold them.