Valiya Lokam, Cheriya Manassu literally translates into Big world, Small heart in Malayalam.
A ramshackle truck grinds to a halt in front of the apartment. A pink teddy bear sits next to the truck driver.Some broken parts of a cycle are tied up behind and are left hanging, clanging as the truck moves. Card board boxes are folded and tied up into a shabby bundle. A bundle of clothes is shuffled in and tucked, prominently visible on the truck body. Four shoddily dressed,soot covered men get down to pick up the garbage pile. One by one the huge black polythene bags are pushed into the truck. The truck is already overflowing with waste picked from apartments. The men use bare hands to push the piles in. The stench of rotting garbage is unbearable and evening walkers refuse to look at the truck or its drivers. To many in the apartment, its like an invisible force that helps them keep their homes clean. While there are tit bits of information of recycling green waste in the apartment complex itself, nothing of that sort is done. As long as there are people to collect waste and throw it away from your locality the residents are quite fine. What lies beyond the apartment is definitely not the residents’ concern. So what if segregated garbage gets mixed up with the unsegregated ones? So what if those who come to collect garbage are shoddily dressed, emaciated people?
For the past few months, I have been thinking of what can be done to help boost the morale of the cleanliness workers. If you have some suggestions please share.
I wish each of them had neat aprons, a good cap, a pair of shoes, a pair of gloves to wear on duty. Some things are achievable, so I have decided to do my bit.
From Valiya Lokam, Cheriya Manassu to Valiya Lokam, Valiya Manassu (Big World, Big Heart)… surely it looks possible to me.