Saturday, 13 April, 2024

Pay Heed To Sanitation

Sugam Gautam

When I have nothing to do sitting at home, I always opt for a quick stroll either in a park or along the desolate street where no crowd can disturb me. I also love to wander about in jungles, where the chirping of birds soothes my soul and makes me feel rejuvenated. Since it is impossible to walk around jungles frequently, I spend considerable time around the park. And when someone from Pokhara talks about the park, one can guess it must be Basundhara Park.

Basundhara Park is the most popular Park in Pokhara, which sees a large number of visitors, both local and foreign, daily. Situated by the bank of Fewa Lake, it is stretched in an area of almost 700 meters. There are multiple gates one can enter through to reach the Park, and when one enters, he/she can notice the greenery everywhere around. Slender trees stand tall; leaves of those big trees sway in the breeze; flowers bloom and what not.

In the morning, athletes are seen running on the circular trail alongside the Park. Family gatherings and picnics take place in the daytime, with an occasional couple of lovers who tend to spend quality time in the tranquility the park offers. Tourists who stay at hotels in Lakeside come for a fresh breath in the evening, and they seem to enjoy the stillness in the air that stirs around Basundhara Park. On the pavement, just by the Fewa Lake, some vendors sit in a row selling chatpate, a spice-laden food that has become famous over the years.

When you're in the Park, it seems like everything is flawless there. In my initial days when I visited Basundhara Park, I was highly fascinated, and it's not the same case now, maybe because I've discovered some flaws. Basundhara Park would have been more glorious had the concerned authorities taken care of small but important things. One day, I was lying on the ground reading a novel, and suddenly I felt the urge to use the toilet. I headed towards the toilet that was perched on the corner, and what I saw once I entered the toilet left me awestruck.

Though I was a regular visitor of Basundhara Park, I had never been to the toilet before. I couldn't even stand for a moment and sneaked out of the toilet. It was in such a dilapidated condition. Its pungent smell made me feel nauseous. I promised myself never to step into the toilet of Basundhara Park. The place that was so dear had me going home, cursing at the poorly-managed toilet. From that day, whenever I intend to visit Basundhara Park, I make sure that I've gone to the toilet at home.

The entire Park is so wholesome if we exclude that toilet. The authorities who take care of Basundhara Park aren't taking any initiative to keep the toilet clean. It's a complete shame that the authorities, who make sure everything in the Park is neat and clean, overlook the toilet. People talk about grand plans, but they need to understand that it's the small things that make the difference.