What will it take to clean up Bangalore? The answer is certainly not just corporators and bureaucrats.
My favorite Bangalore citizens, The Ugly Indians (aka TUI), will tell you that the battle has to be won “in the mind.” In the mind of its citizens of course. On Jan 26, 2012, they released this 6-minute “Ugly Public Spaces” video which flows like an Annual Report summary.
Hope you watched the video and paid attention to the narrative. What’s evident from this video is that the TUI group is one part poet, one part philosopher, one part psychologist, and one part urban designer.
The following highlights from the video will tell you what I mean:
- Ugly Indian = Privately Clean, Publicly Filthy.
- Ugliness attracts ugliness. Beauty begets beauty.
- Nudging Indians towards better civic sense
- Using better designs
- Solving real problems
- Respecting local culture
- NO activism, NO awareness, NO talking; ONLY action and 100% anonymity.
- The venerable TereBin has withstood the ravages of Bangalore and passed with flying colors.
- Fifteen Wonderloos installed (More on Wonderloos here). Seventeen months later, the Church Street Wonderloos are still serving the need (How do I know? I used one yesterday!)
- TUI might be many things but they are certainly NOT cynics.
- Exhibit A: Give an Ugly Indian a reason to respect Public Space. And he will.
- Exhibit B: Only WE can save us from OURSELVES.
If you’ve made it this far, here’s your reward – A Year of SpotFixing in Bangalore’s City Centre.