One would hope that Indians abroad would develop a better sense of caring for public spaces, but perhaps these are just unrealistic expectations one should keep to themselves. Playing up stereotypes like nobody’s business, authorities in the city of Leicester in UK were forced to put up a signboard that issues a warning against spitting.
“Spitting paan on the street is unhygienic and anti-social. You could be fined £150,” reads the board. The message is written in English and Gujarati.
Just for information. pic.twitter.com/bd481XA2em
— Never fear to speak the truth سچ بولنے سے کبھی ن (@EmpoweringGoa) April 12, 2019
A Times Now report claims that the signage has been issued by the Leicester police force and the Leicester City Council. The report claimed that in 2016 a city council spokesperson had said, “We are aware of this problem, which is unhygienic and leaves unsightly stains on pavements. We are looking at including paan spitting in a future city-wide Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which would give us more powers to tackle it.”
Leicester has a growing Indian population as they’ve settled down in the vicinity of Belgrave Road and Melton Road. Cities like Birmingham and Bradford have also imposed penalties to tackle this menace.
A News18 report highlighted a 2010 BBC report that a north-London based council was attempting to control the issue by fining those found guilty of illegal expectoration. Again, in 2014, the London Council issued an £80 fine on those found guilty of ‘anti-social’ spitting. They also pointed out that paan stains are expensive to remove from pavements and streets and were causing diseases as well.