Wednesday, September 11, 2019

SpiceJet pilot promotes airline hygiene on buses

There is a new swagger sweeping through the city’s public buses for a month now — one which is attempting to awaken passengers to a travel etiquette of maintaining the hygiene of the space they occupy.
Retired Wing Commander Puneet Sharma and his team of hosts and hostesses have climbed on board to drive home the need to keep the bus floor and seats clean and unlittered. Sharma, who is now a captain with the budget airline SpiceJet, sees no reason why passengers should not show the same respect to space in a bus as they would to the interiors of an airplane they fly.
His group Swachh Warrior and Guardian (SWAG) has devoted weekends to sensitising citizens about cleanliness in neighbourhoods for half a decade now. They’ve captured the public imagination with their creative approach, deploying flash mobs and street plays to convey their message. Even the authorities are quick to acknowledge their effectiveness. “This is a one-of-its-kind initiative and their presentation is particularly commendable.
They don’t need our permission to do such work that is in the interest of the society. We can only be supportive,” vouched Dnyaneshwar Molak, who helms the solid waste management department of Pune Municipal Corporation. While this drive has evolved, a month ago the former Air Force officer, turned his attention to the buses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML).
On the lines of air hostesses and stewards who belt out safety instruction to passengers on flight before they are airborne, Sharma has a team member filling in the bus passengers on the details of the journey ahead before coaxing them to make the trip without turning into litterbugs.
 “It should not matter whether a person is seated in an airplane or in a bus. One should travel in a state transport bus with the same mindset that he or she would have when flying and avoid littering or dirtying the space occupied. Our volunteers have been trained to get this message across to the passengers on the bus in a few sentences. They begin with introducing themselves, then talk of the destination, before bringing up the issue of cleanliness,” Sharma told Mirror.
 11/09/19 Supriya Dedgaonkar/Pune Mirror
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