|Illustrative image/ Photo vnexpress
HA NOI (VNS) — Many residents in old or low-cost apartment buildings throw rubbish on the stairs, in the lifts and other public areas. They also use common space to store unused furniture, toys - or to hang clothes.
Cramped living quarters are often given as an excuse. Nguyen Thi Tam, from CT6 residential block in Ha Dong District's Kien Hung Ward, said many residents were ignorant about the need to keep public areas clean and tidy.
"The transformer station in my block once blew up because someone threw a lit cigarette butt into a ventilation pipe leading to waste storage bins," she said.
Although no one was injured, two motorbikes were burnt and there was a blackout in the building for three days," Tam said.
Nguyen The Hung, who lives in Xa La residential area, said that she often saw nylon bags, cigarette butts and candy wrappers in the elevator.
Despite being cleaned every day, there is still rubbish in the elevator due to people's lack of awareness, Hung said.
Nguyen Binh Minh, another resident, said many people still fought to get into a lift, refusing to wait until people got out.
Minh said people from all walks of life and with a mix of customs and traditions often shared common areas. "Awareness about respecting common areas play an important role in developing new traditions of civility."
According to cultural expert Nguyen Thi Kim Lien, besides improving each resident's awareness, the role of management boards was also important.
However, the role of the boards was often limited because of the small numbers of staff compared to the thousands of residents they are paid to look after.
She suggested there should be co-ordination between residents and management boards to build a collective awareness.
A movement in Bac Nghia Tan Ward is a good example. Dao Van Thu, head of residents group No 27 in the ward, said residents were unanimous in their support for a movement to promote cultural life.
"In 1999, residents from A3 apartment block started a movement to take advantage of stair space for community activity. They set up a small library at the entrance to the stairs so that residents came to read books and chat with each other. This improved solidarity and a better lifestyle," he said.
The movement has now expanded to many apartment blocks in the ward.
The movement not only calls on residents to behave themselves in a civil manner in common areas, but also to improve their awareness and thus educating small children, Thu said.
"Every day children pass by the common areas and see people reading books or newspapers. If they enjoy a good lifestyle, they will become good citizens," he said.
Vu Duc Quy, who lives in Xa La residential area, said, "All city people should teach their children how to use stairs and elevators. They should be taught how to behave in a good manner and how to protect the environment." — VNS