The one thing I look forward to in my otherwise uneventful trip to India is my morning walk around the Society ground. I usually take about ten rounds or a distance of two miles while listening to my podcasts. I wish I could say I love the smell of the fresh morning air, but it has been smoky and hazy for the past few days, so I walk with my mask off and on depending on whether I pass people or the smoke gets too heavy.
On my walks, I have observed a team of municipal workers sweep the streets around the field. Now, this is surprising and amazing on several levels for me. Cleanliness wasn’t exactly the municipal corporation’s top priority when I was growing up. We had open gutters and open neighborhood garbage dumps, and the idea of having street sweepers would be laughed at. Now, the stormwater drains and gutters are covered, and there are no open garbage dumps to be seen around. So I was mighty pleased to see this crew do their job diligently every day.
But a more pleasant surprise was in store on Sunday morning. The walking track inside the field was now being swept clean, not by municipal workers but by residents of the Society that I had seen previously walking and playing on the field. If I had known earlier and were a resident, I would have loved to join in. I was pleased to see this display of volunteerism for such a simple and traditionally-considered menial task (in India).
I noticed this street-sweeping truck after I returned to Austin. Interesting to note the contrast of the task that took several men is being done by one truck here and probably more efficiently. But of course, it lacks the human touch and the subsequent volunteerism that inspires residents to pitch in.
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