Anonymous vigilantes clean up Bangalore
The Indian city of Bangalore is not the cleanest, apparently. So a group of young Bangaloreans is cleaning up the city, a block at a time. And they're doing it anonymously.
After a year of "spot-fixing," the group — they call themselves the "Ugly Indians" — has managed to clear more than eight miles of Bangalore's streets of garbage dumps, missing paving slabs, urine smell, and betel-leaf stains (a similar urban ill to that gray ground-in chewing gum you see on city sidewalks). And they're challenging other cities to do the same.
The Ugly Indians work anonymously, and often don't even know the names of their fellow volunteers. What they have in common is a sense of civic responsibility, and the conviction that India's cities are ugly because Indian citizens are satisfied to treat them in ugly ways ("we are all Ugly Indians," asserts the group's website). These urban cleanliness vigilantes aren't content to throw up their hands and say "people are awful," though — they're going out there and fixing the city by hand, even if it's kind of gross to touch. And they're not even stopping at just cleaning up the streets; they're also installing trash cans and urinals to make sure that future waste and litter is contained where it belongs.
Get Grist in your inbox