HYDERABAD: Remember the time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon the nation and asked to join hands for a clean India? That looks like a distant dream as Hyderabad drowns in swirling plastic rubbish, overflowing drains and stench from high-piled garbage dumps. Do you remember the ambassadors of Swachh Bharat? People nominating each other on Twitter and then posing with brooms and delivering homilies about cleanliness.
Our dream city
After celebrities, bureaucrats, government officials and students came forward, it was only natural for the Telangana Government to initiate the same in the state.
Rs 200 crore, Rs 50 lakh for each area, 400 units of people dispersed, a smartphone application, three years of time and voila! the state was supposed to be spic and span.
The idea made an impact – from sportstars – VVS Laxman, Sania Mirza, Jwala Gutta, Gopichand to film stars – the Manchus, Akkinenis and Daggubatis, joining hands with them was Tamannah Bhatia, Rakul Preet Singh, Nithiin, Ram Pothineni and a number of others to bureaucrats and influential personalities.
While some took up the bigger mission of Clean India, a few others started small with aiming for a clean Hyderabad.
They came armed – gloves, check. Masks, check. Shoes, check. Broom check. Hand sanitiser check. Clean up one small area, check.
This cleaned up garbage was later picked up by civic workers (garbage collectors), who sorted and dumped them far away, in Jawahar Nagar.
The clean and green city was in its making.
The photo ops might be over. But now Hyderabadis are looking for the Swachh Ambassadors.
That is because no one anticipated that civic workers would go on a strike and refuse to collect garbage from our homes for a reason.
The whole of Hyderabad city has been turned into a dump yard with no one available to collect the garbage. From Kundanbagh to Tolichowki to Mehidipatnam to Charminar to Tarnaka to Secunderabad – the twin cities are drowning in heaps of waste.
The sanitation workers are clear with their agenda – they demand regularising pay, providing housing and health cards, just like employees from every other sector.
Putting them aside, we wonder, where have all the Swachch Telangana ambassadors suddenly vanished.
We can give our dear Sania Mirza a break. The lady just made the country proud.
We can also leave Rana Daggubati and Tamannah Bhatia out of this, they gave us the masterpiece, Baahubali. But what about the others?
Isn’t this the time for them to promote and campaign for a clean India?
At a time, when the city is reeking of garbage and our civic worker brothers are demanding for their rights?
With close to 100 crore invested in the campaign, 300 million people came forward to spread awareness.
Why not? When the Prime Minister himself picks up the broom, why can’t ordinary citizens follow suit? And when the man himself nominates you and asks you to spread the word, it is a matter of pride. But whose responsibility is it to keep it going?
“Ipud chesi chupiyandi raa Swachh Bharat,” was 24-year-old, Deepu M’s status update. The aspiring farmer says, “The state of the city right now, shows how myopic the view of Swachh ambassadors’ is. It was nice to see them clean their surroundings, but did anyone think about who is going to sort that garbage? Where is it going? Who are the ones picking it up? What are they going through to keep the city clean? This is what needs to be addressed. Keeping our rooms, homes and lanes clean is basic. If they were true to envision a clean state, then they need to go much deeper.”