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A Cloud of Trash
Charu was a smart and bright girl. She always was kind to all but, she was the unhappiest girl among her friends. She was certainly the unhappiest girl in her entire class. She was perhaps the unhappiest girl in the world, or at least that's what she felt.
What about her friends?
Charu had no friends any more. No one wanted to play with Charu, because she had a cloud hanging over her head.
The cloud had orange peels and biscuit packets, broken toys and pencil shavings, twisted plastic bottles and colourful plastic bags. All surrounded by a swarm or buzzing flies.
Nobody wanted to play with a girl who had a cloud of trash hanging over her. What if a rotten banana peel fell on your head? YUCK!
Charu couldn't even play hide-and seek any more. The cloud would always give her away. "Let's walk to school together," she said to Sona. Sona ran off in the opposite direction.
She asked, "May I borrow your pencil?"
Jancy made a face and changed her seat to go sit with Asha
Charu even had to eat her lunch alone,
Charu knew that she should have listened to her Amma. Amma always told her not to litter.
"Don't throw the banana peel on the road"
"Throw the empty biscuit packet in the dustbin"
But, Charu never listened. She only laughed and kept littering. She did not care about her surroundings.
Then one day, Amma became very angry and said, "Soon, all this trash will start following you!"
Charu just laughed.
The next morning, Charu woke up to a foul smell and the sound of buzzing flies. A cloud of trash was hanging over her head Amma's words had come true!
Charu tried to run away, but the trash cloud followed her everywhere.
She tried to sweep the cloud down with a broom, only to find the cloud over her head.
Charu tried EVERYTHING.
She screamed and asked the cloud to leave her alone. She even tried to throw it into the dustbin, but it just wouldn't go. So, Charu became very unhappy. Then something happened! Charu saw Bala throwing a banana peel on the road near the park.
Charu was annoyed.
Could he not see the cloud over her head?
She yelled, "Don't throw the peel on the road. Someone will slip!"
Bala, scared of the trash cloud, threw the peel in the dustbin.
The next day, the trash cloud had become smaller!
"How did that happen?" Charu wondered.
Then, Charu saw Amutha Aunty throwing away plastic bags near the hospital.
"Aunty!" Charu said. "Please pick up these bags. I am sure you can reuse them."
Amutha aunty picked up the bags and left.
The next day when Charu woke up, the cloud was much smaller. Charu smiled. She knew what she had to do.
When someone threw away a biscuit packet or pencil shavings in the school, Charu stopped them.
She picked up every twisted plastic bottle near the hotel and put it in the dustbin.
The village became cleaner and cleaner, and Charu's cloud became smaller and smaller.
Until one day, it had gone.
COMPLETELY GONE !
Charu was now perhaps the happiest girl in the world.
Charu never littered again. Secretly, she liked having the village clean. But, she was also scared that the trash cloud would come back, some day.
Do you litter things in your village?
Note to the teacher: Read the story to the children. Encourage them to know the names of the public places