Young Pakistani Group Sets Example by Picking Up Garbage

via www.nytimes.com

An almost revolutionary group of middle-class, well-to-do young Lahoris has had enough, so they have set an example by picking up garbage themselves every Sunday. “The rich don’t care, the poor can’t do anything, so it’s up to the middle class to make the change.” The idea was simple, Pakistan is a country full of talk and short on action, and it smacked of rebellion. They got on Facebook and invited all their friends to a Sunday trash picking. The area of operation, Ghalib Market, was modest, a quiet traffic circle in central Lahore encircled by shops, a cricket field and a mosque. Sick of hearing their families complain about the government, they decided to spite them by taking matters into their own hands. It was a strange thing to do, particularly for such students from elite private schools, who would normally spend Sunday afternoons relaxing in air-conditioned homes. Pakistan is a country plagued by problems, like Islamic extremism and poverty. But these young people are another face, a curious new generation that looks skeptically on their parents’ privilege and holds mullahs and military generals in equal contempt. The first time they cleaned there was like raking leaves on a windy autumn day. But they talked with local shopkeepers, in a kind of trash outreach, asking them to walk their garbage to the trash bin.

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