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Battling with Yorkers

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In most housing societies, it is no surprise if the top floor uncle continues throwing kachra down even though the bottom floor aunty delivers a googly of choicest words each time something lands outside her balcony. The unending issues, woes & grievances of big or small societies, is a game of unlimited overs.

In a typical cooperative housing society, kachra is more like a free hit on home grounds; flying in from anywhere. Whether it crosses boundary and lands inside someone’s house or gets swept off by the cleaner fielding with the humble broom purely depends on the delivery skills of the top floor uncle. As the cleaner takes the long shots brooming kachra, much of it slips under a longtime parked car or gets swept shot into the storm water drain.

Interestingly, on a pitch of over 30,000sqft, encompassing the entire society, the faithful batsman – the ‘famous’ jhadoowali /jhadoowala (cleaner) is provided with just a straw broom to set the scores. Resultantly, besides missing kachra at the slips and gullies, the deep cover is stocked with recyclable plastic and other wastes pulled out from the household kachra. In a fair deal with the nearby kabadiwala, the jhadoowali/jhadoowala still earns a chunky sum selling the recyclable waste.

And, why not when the cleaner in spite of doing on the ground, gets sidelined over the committee’s “increasing society expenses”.

Annual committee meetings in most cases end up on arguments including how much to pay the cleaner? “Why pay her more than Rs3000 or 4000? What cleaning is she doing to pay more…”

The closed door argument would go on for hours over a silly point and miss the gap at the deep midwicket where rodents and mosquitoes make a longstop due to accumulating kachra. Or, even ignore the fact that the Government has introduced Swachch Bharat this year and will introduce Swachch Society next year.

 Every residential complex, be it old or new, employ a kachrawali and expect her to do wonders on the field. Equipped with the straw broom and a rag cloth called mop and a broken bucket, she has to clean sweep the entire ground area, mop walkways and steps, and also clear dustbins from each flat. Phew! What a play!

While we cannot clean the entire country with a humble broom, we cannot expect a single sweeper to clean a 10,000sqft with a broom either.

If societies today are attacked by mosquitoes and rats, they need to understand that it is not a pitch for Yorkers and googlies but ground to spin the kachra straight into the bins.

Given the right tools and cleaning machines, the jhadoowali will be pleased to be part of the team and deliver her best shots in keeping the society clean.

Segregating dry and wet waste at the household level will enable the cleaner to dispose off waste in the right way and create a well maintained society. The committee has to educate the members or could ban playing on home grounds.

PS: Cleanliness not just helps in healthy living, it increases the property value too…

Mohana M

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