Let’s spit out this bad habit
Mahatma Gandhi had noticed that some Indians were in the habit of spitting in Indian third class train compartments and took the initiative to campaign all over the country and educate the public of their hygienic needs.
In then Ceylon, hygiene was a subject in the school curriculum, but perhaps in developed Sri Lanka, hygiene as a subject may not be taught in schools, judging from the conduct of some adults and schoolchildren.
Some well-dressed persons alighting from a bus spit on the public highway, not caring about persons who are walking behind, often to their displeasure and annoyance. Worst are the students who congregate in the morning close to a busy bus terminal or such other place and while engaging in unproductive chitchat spit where they are standing. At Nugegoda opposite the Bo-Tree, across the road on the cemented area this is a common sight.
All such persons display the absence of cultured and ethical habits. Perhaps school teachers and parents should bear the main responsibility. Most teachers are not aware of their responsibility to society to groom children under their care to be worthy citizens, so that the nation could be proud of them. Parents too have a responsibility to inculcate cultured and hygienic habits in their children, while they themselves should set an example for the children to emulate. Alas, both teachers and parents with their busy time schedules have no time to ponder over the needs of the children under their care.
For the common good, the clergy of all denominations, doctors, university academics and other professionals during the numerous discussions they conduct on TV and Radio should take the initiative to speak on hygiene-related issues and to write articles in the daily papers in all three languages. The health authorities could telecast an appropriate message in all TV channels and also in the newspapers.