The residents of Abul Fazal Enclave in Jamia Nagar didn’t wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch a cleanliness drive to keep their area clean. When the civic body didn’t pay any heed to their demands to clean the area on regular basis, the residents picked up the broom.
“It all started in July over a cup of tea,” said Ghazanfar Imam, a resident, adding that it was decided that the residents themselves will clean their locality every Sunday. The campaign that started with seven people now has around 14 volunteers supporting the cause. Those who can be seen wielding the broom include university professors, engineers, chartered accountants, businessmen and students.
“Sometimes we have to take matters into your own hands. When the civic agencies turned a deaf ear to our pleas, we decided to clean the area ourselves,” he said.
“We realized that it is not just the duty of the civic body, we, too, have some responsibilities. If we dirty the area, we should also come forward to clean the mess. We could have hired a private agency to do the job, but we wanted to set an example for all. If we can clean our homes, why not our locality,” said Javed Ahmed, a Jamia Hamard University professor.
“Initially, we were just a bunch of people, but later others too joined us,” he said.
“During the initial days of our campaign, people used to confuse us with private sanitation workers. They would ask us questions like, ‘has the MCD hired a private company for the cleanliness work’,” said Ghazanfar.
Another resident of the area Razi Haider, who is a chartered accountant, said, “We started by cleaning the lane (Part 1 of Abul Fazal Enclave), but as more and more people joined, we started cleaning the locality, too. We want to inspire people in a way that each and every locality of Jamia Nagar should start similar campaigns.”
The group recently launched the drive in other areas of Jamia Nagar like Chand Mosque area, D Block of Abul Fazal Enclave, area near Bilal Mosque and Ramzani Mosque etc. Interestingly, when these people go to their native places during holidays, they try to spread the message there, too. “A resident of the area, Z Hashmi, recently went to his village in Bihar. He inspired the people in his locality to start a similar campaign,” said Ghazanfar.