Sanitation failure due to poorly trained ‘swacchagrahis’
The ‘failure’ of 1,100 ‘swachhagrahis’ has already cost Lucknow dear in the form of 269th rank in sanitation index. But the LMC has now decided to replace some ‘defunct swachhagrahis’ and train the rest for the task of improving sanitation in the city.lucknow Updated: Jun 02, 2017 15:13 IST
Swachhagrahis selected by the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) to generate awareness about cleanliness and give inputs to officials about problems in various areas have failed to perform their duties. Reason: They were not selected on merit, but on the whims of LMC staff.
The ‘failure’ of 1,100 swachhagrahis has already cost Lucknow dear in the form of 269th rank in sanitation index. But the LMC has now decided to replace some ‘defunct swachhagrahis’ and train the rest for the task of improving sanitation in the city.
Prabha Chaturvedi a social worker, who has worked on ensuring cleanliness in Nishatganj, said she had never been approached by LMC for swacchagrahi’s work. “I would have been happy to do the work, but no one approached me for that,” she said.
- Swachhagrahis are responsible for creating sanitation awareness among residents. They are also supposed to ensure proper disposal of domestic refuse, and motivate people to stop open defecation, build toilets in their houses and keep surroundings clean. They are expected to stop residents, shopkeepers and staff of commercial establishments such as marriage halls from dumping solid waste at public places. They are also supposed to send a daily report, however, most volunteers have not done so.
Similarly, IR Lamba of Lucknow Citizens Forum, has always been active in creating awareness about civic issues. But he was never approached by LMC officials for the work of swacchagrahi.
Environment engineer of LMC Pankaj Bhushan said, “Now, the municipal corporation has decided to organise a zone-wise training programme for swachhagrahis. The aim is to make them more professional in their work. “
“We want them to be more accountable and realise their responsibility towards the mission of keeping the city clean. If they cannot devote time to this work, the corporation will replace them with others who can give better results in improving cleanliness levels,” said Bhushan.
Just as the Satyagrahis had fought the British for the country’s independence, the Swachhagrahis were supposed to fight filth in all the 110 municipal wards of the city.
Prabha Chaturvedi said, “ There is no fault of poor Swacchagrahis in poor ranking of Lucknow. The fact is that they failed to understand the criteria on which the sanitation rankings were to be decided. What should be noted is that volunteers were not trained at all. In addition, they were expected to work like full-time employees without any emolument or stipend. That’s why most of them never took any interest in highlighting the shortcomings of the sanitation system. Most never tabled any report, never came out with any idea to improve the situation.”