Visitors to Bangalore’s botanical park were recently shocked to find the carcasses of dead squirrels and birds, and noted that while stray dogs in the garden appeared happy and well fed, the phenomenon was worrying. Government veterinarians discovered that the animals had died after choking on small bits of plastic that can be found in the tons of garbage that litter Bangalore’s botanical park.
An interdisciplinary meeting was convened to discover the source of so much plastic and other toxic garbage in the park. Apart from senior officials, local residents, regular walkers and random visitors were invited for their views. Residents of the area pointed out that they had their own street corners to dump garbage and did not have to carry it all the way to the park. Random visitors asked how they could be involved in dumping tons of garbage when all they did was throw the occasional plastic bottle or fruit juice pack – which would hardly make a difference to the whole. Regular walkers said that their interest lay in fitness and health and not in garbage and that they could not help in pinpointing the source of garbage.
A local doctor, himself a walker and a resident suggested that the garbage could have fallen out of the sky. Since no one else was responsible for the garbage build up in the park the only possibility was that it has fallen from the sky. The doctor, well known for his skill in diagnosis said, “There have been heavy rains in the area recently – and if garbage fell along with the rain, no one would know. In fact the entire area inside and outside the park is littered with garbage, making it all the more likely that the garbage has fallen from the sky”
This idea was welcomed by one and all and it was felt that this required further investigation and follow up. It would be taken up at the next meeting because the caterer serving idlis and coffee was running out of plastic cups and plates and would have to pack up and go if the meeting was prolonged unnecessarily.
– with inputs from noose agencies