[box type=”shadow” ]Many of us believe that Goddess Laxmi (the mother of wealth) will not enter or stay in our homes, if they are not kept clean and tidy. In the process, we tend to throw our household waste on to the neighbourhood and on to the streets. Hyderabad’s Hayath Nagar is no exemption to this evil practice. But, fortunately for this area, there is a saviour.[/box]
Sama Tirumal Reddy, the Hayath Nagar Corporator, starts his day with cleaning the colony roads, clearing the underground drainage and educating the people not to litter on the roads and dump garbage in the open drain.
At 4.30am, Reddy joins the GHMC sanitation workers who gather to take attendance. The first time elected corporator wears the uniform of a sanitary worker and becomes one among them. He works till 9am.
Fortyseven-year-old Tirumal Reddy is a Commerce graduate. He took inspiration from Chief Minister K Chandra Shekar Rao’s speech in one of the training programmes for the newly elected corporators in February this year. Instead of passing the local problems to the concerned officials, the corporator started responding to the issues on his own, by associating with the people, sanitation staff and swachh volunteers to understand the problems at the grassroots level. Despite being ridiculed by the other corporators, he continued his work.
Reddy conducted a survey in all the 36 colonies and 17 blocks in Hayath Nagar division and identified unhygienic hot spots and where residence did not follow the practice of giving garbage to the Swachh workers, and made the neighbourhood unclean.
Through methods of polite request, coercion or even by carrying out dharna, Reddy and his sanitation staff could bring about change in the mindset of the residents not only in Hayath Nagar but also in the Banjara colony and Ambedkar colony slums.
“An emergency service should be in place to lift garbage as and when required. A litter free Hayath Nagar or Hyderabad is possible only if 100% door to door collection of waste is put in place,” says Reddy.
“If the Swachh worker is absent or irregular in his duty to collect the waste periodically, then people tend to litter around,” he explains. In order to motivate people, “Bathukamma”, a traditional Telangana festival, “Dappuchatiampu”, a traditional drum beat to pass on important message and “Bottupettu”, adding a trace of interpersonal cultural message to home makers to educate importance of sanitation, are all organized with locals and sanitation staff.
All these activities of the Corporator have facilitated in the Hayath Nagar division becoming litter free. Sama Tirumal Reddy is now the true Swachh Ambassador of Hyderabad.Raghu Ram Goud
Consultant, Infrastructure and Government Services
City Support Unit-Swachh Bharat Mission, KPMG