Wednesday, February 1

Clean campaign: Cops join hands to produce documents against public spitting

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Prodded by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the information and cultural affairs department and Kolkata Police organized a day-long shoot of a documentary to raise awareness against public spitting. On Saturday morning, around 80 children from the La Martiniere, Heritage and Indus Valley schools assembled next to the Patuli floating market for the minute-long documentary being made by Arindam Sil’s Nothing Beyond Cinema and Sri Venkatesh Film. It has been scripted by Kolkata Police’s additional commissioner Supratim Sarkar.

“To shame offenders and hurt their ego, the government has fixed a hefty fine of Rs 1,001 for those who spit on the newly opened Dakshinewswar skywalk. They will also be made to pick up a broom and clean up the place. Along with penalizing, an effective awareness drive is necessary. The film will be screened across the country in multiplexes, single-screen halls and television channels,” said community police OC Manas Jha, who supervised Saturday’s shoot.

The CM has also set up a committee to make fines steeper and punishment more stringent for spitting in public places, and has a revised the antispitting legislation.

Sil said, “Children are always the best agents of change. The film has them telling elders not to spit in public places. That’s a good way of spreading awareness. The kids were superb. They were uninhibited and natural, and I didn’t have to teach them anything.” The director sent the first cut to the chief minister on Sunday and the final version will be ready for release in four days.

“On my way to the shoot, I spotted a man spitting out of his car. I stopped him and asked, ‘Would you have done this at home? If you don’t dirty your own house why are you dirtying my street?’” the director said.

“The government is trying to implement a successful prosecution for spitting in public and is adopting a policy to impose severe on-the-spot fines under the anti-litter legislation. But mass communication is a good way to go after spitters who irritate us with their public nuisance. It’s common decency. But when people lack it, the government has to take it upon itself to keep the city clean. Hopefully, together, we can eradicate this disgusting habit soon,” said Sil.

Though the script has dialogues in Bengali and English, Jha said the film will be dubbed in other languages too.

Source: Times of India

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