Indians do not have civic sense! Sorry, I have to correct that. Indians do not have civic sense when they (I mean we) are in India. That is just a plain and simple fact. Outside our country, we are the best-behaved people.
I want to relate an experience I had a few years ago. I was travelling with a marriage party from Bangalore to Mysore. My aunt had prepared snacks and put them in small plastic covers for all of us to eat on the way. All of us ate them, and I saw that everybody was throwing the plastic covers out of the window of the moving bus. Now, I was and still am, conscious about such things. One reason is that it is dirty, and I will presently relate the second reason.
We were two neighbours in a not-so-populated place in Bangalore. There were two puppies of a dog, and both of us adopted each. After a while, our neighbour stopped keeping the dog in their house because they thought that it was somewhat dirty. Now, I am fond of all kinds of animals (a bit scared of them initially, though). I used to visit my place in Bangalore every few days, from Madras. Our dog and this dog (Joonu was his name) used to rush to welcome me when they saw me at the corner of the street. Once, when I came home, I realized that nobody was home and that everybody had gone to a relatives house. All this time, Joonu was with me. He was already kicked out of his owners' house and had nowhere to go. He walked with me while I was looking for an auto. All stray dogs were picking fights with him and he would respond to them. He desisted only when I called him off. I was feeling very sorry at his state. The breaking point was when I got the auto. He tried to get in. I told him to go away, and gave him some bread. Nevertheless, he still wanted to come with me. All he wanted was some company! Unfortunately, I could not, or thought I could not take him in an auto to my relatives' house! It is one instance when I have felt very emotional. Anyways, sometime after this, Joonu died because he ate a plastic cover thrown by somebody.
I was planning to make this a blog about civic sense, but look what I did! Anyway, getting back to where I deviated. I saw people throwing plastic covers, and collected them. Then I had an argument with this person, an educated and well-to-do man. He asked me why I was doing what I was doing. I told him that it was not right to throw plastic everywhere and that I would collect them all and dump them in a dustbin when we stopped. Then, my shortsightedness made me tell him that a dear dog of mine died because he ate plastic, and that many cows die every year because of the same reason. Then he said, "Look, it was the dog's karma that made him eat the plastic. Why should you worry about it?"...!! I did not know what to say. Now I can think of at least ten retorts, but I was just tongue-tied then!
We stopped at a place some two hours from Bangalore. I, with all the collected plastic covers and with a great sense of achievement, went to dispose of them in the way they were intended to. But I could not find a dustbin! There just was no dustbin! I just had to dump them on a garbage pile next to the road.
The question is whether we start collecting plastic, or arrange for dustbins first. If there are dustbins, people will dump garbage in the bins. But on the other hand, unless people start collecting plastic, there is no reason to have a dustbin! It is the chicken-and-egg problem.