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People from very different walks of life gathered on a sidewalk today. The common thread linking them all was “dignity” and an inexplicable oneness. A cleaner street and gifts for people were mere by products. Over a month, led by Anjali Saini and her team, well heeled residents of communities worked side by side with BBMP garbage collectors, children, housewives, small shopkeepers and villagers. They took former black spots aka garbage heaps and open sewers and transformed them. Then they took pride in it and kept it that way.
Today they came together to honour those that either made it happen or whose contribution will keep it that way. Of special focus were those considered the lowest on the socio economic rung. The Garbage Collectors and Pourakarmikas. Residents quietly ran a drive to collect gifts for them. Having worked with them over many days, they had started to have anidentify and their plight was apparent. Sarees, shirts and even a specially prepared gift hamper came pouring in. These were handed over to the shy and surprised workers who were made to take a break from being knee deep in garbage.
Next up were shops. 10 of the 55 in the area got recognition and a formal rating across 7 categories. A full seven star would imply not just a clean shop but one that is socially responsible which would mean keeping a clean pavement, no parking in front of their shop keeping it pedestrian friendly and avoiding the use of plastic bags. So far the best on the list was the Paani Poori wallah!
An important focus in the recognition was given to the key people from BBMP and BESCOM, partnership with whom led to this.
Pride was felt by those that worked to make it that way. And taking pride was asked of those whose help was needed to keep it that way. Each person is an individual and has a job to do that they mustdo and that is important no matter how small or big.
So is this a one time wonder or is this hear to stay ? The folks In Whitefield will decide. For now they are indeed rising.