Someone told me a story about attitude of business people in Paro town; Once an elderly woman was seen dumping her waste in the drain in the middle of town, and as matter of fact he went to ask her to take care of her waste. You know what she replied? "O Boy, don't worry, scouts will come to clean up the town on Saturday." It's clear that all the good intentioned cleaning campaigns school children conducted in the town went on to pamper these people and it only taught them how to take waste for granted.
I confirmed the story firsthand within my short stay in this place. One day Clean Bhutan brought along a passionate group of college students and cleaned the entire town. For the first time I saw the town clean. As always it took a cleaning campaign to let the town breadthe fresh air. I don't know how no Parob felt guilty about letting people from as far as Shrubtse and Gedu colleges clean their town. Quite obviously, unthankfully, and unfortunately I saw the town back to its sorry state just a few days later. Following are the pictures of one spot I took to show you the state of Paro over the past weeks. Now they are waiting for another cleaning campaign!
|Before the Cleaning Campaign|
|After the Cleaning Campaign|
|Later, and few days after|
I also think the handicraft shop owners should lend their clean hands to make the town clean for their potential costumers to happily visit them. The same should be the moral responsibility of Guide Association of Bhutan and Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) to make the town welcoming for their bread to fly in. It is more than ever important to let Paro shine and glitter because 2015 is going to be big for tourism industry as Bhutan observes Visit Bhutan year. If Thimphu is the heart of Bhutan, Paro is truly the face and we can't present a dirty face to our guest. We haven't done it thus far and let us not set an unglamorous precedent by doing it when we are inviting the world to come visit our pristine country.
Bottomline: Stop giving Paro fish, teach Paro how to fish!
(I think everybody knows about the effect of solid waste on our environment and ultimately on ourselves, therefore I am not discussing the cliché in this article.)