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Party over, now clean & count
Kids clear up your mess

Ruchi Narendran (blue kurti) wields the broom during shramdaan for Zimmedar Nagrik, Zimmedar Shahar campaign at Jubilee Park on Thursday
Students of Prem Jyoti Prangan wear masks and gloves for the job . Pictures by Bhola Prasad
Thermocol plates and plastics bags litter Dimna Lake

The sight of little hands clearing heaps of putrid, foul-smelling garbage can melt the hardest of hearts.

Six months into their Zimmedar Nagrik, Zimmedar Shahar campaign in Jamshedpur, schoolchildren will succeed in shaming adults to learn basic civic sense, hope officials of Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco.

From Thursday, Jusco is roping in school students for shramdaan to clear public litter. First stop — Jubilee Park.

Fifty students of Prem Jyoti Prangan, a school for needy children on JRD Tata Sports Complex premises, took part in the hour-long shramdaan at Jubilee Park on the morning of the year’s second day.

The landmark 237-acre park in the heart of the city showed the aftermath of New Year revelry with piles of litter — food leftovers, used thermocol plates and plastic glasses, empty pouches and so on.

On Wednesday, some 20,000-25,000 picnickers as well as 15,000 visitors had visited the park that was established in 1958 and remains a perennial favourite. But few bothered to put the leftovers of their merry-making inside vats or bins dotting the park.

For the record, Jubilee Park has five big vats and eight hanging bins for collection of wastes and leftovers.

Speaking during the launch of the shramdaan at Jubilee Park, Zimmedar Nagrik, Zimmedar Shahar campaign patron-in-chief Ruchi Narendran asked people to take pride in the city’s cleanliness.

“It is not possible for a corporate outfit (Jusco) to keep a city clean without the cooperation of its residents. The shramdaan activity is aimed at letting people know about the problems caused due to litter at public places,” said the social worker and better-half of Tata Steel managing director T.V. Narendran.

Children who led the shramdaan cleared six acres near Tata Steel founder JN Tata’s statue at the park. Ruchi Narendran, social worker Surekha Nerurkar, as well as Jusco and Tata Steel executives and their spouses also picked up brooms and pushed wheelbarrows to clear litter.

“The shramdaan using schoolchildren is a ploy to embarrass picnickers and people at large who do not show any civic sense or concern for public places. When people see children picking up garbage, they will think twice before littering public places. At least, people should feel guilty,” Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said.

“It’s a simple thing to throw leftovers into designated dustbins and vats. I urge all citizens to do so. It keeps the city clean,” Rajan appealed.

He added that every January 1 night, the public health department of Jusco deputed a large number of its staffers to clear litter on public places.

“This year, we have opted for shramdaan deliberately to embarrass people who strew litter around without caring about civic responsibility. Under Ruchi Narendran’s guidance, we decided to organise the first shramdaan at Jubilee Park which witnesses maximum visitors every January 1. People need to know that someone else is clearing the mess they leave behind,” Rajan said.

Jusco plans to carry out similar shramdaan at other public places.

“We will conduct shramdaan to clear litter at Sakchi and Bistupur markets later this month. In Sakchi, we will take the help of students of Kerala Samajam Model School and ADLS Sunshine School. In Bistupur, St Mary’s English School and others who show interest in the shramdaan will be roped in,” said the spokesperson.

Similar shramdaan activity is planned in Dhatkidih, where JH Tarapore and other schools will be involved. Some 40 housing complexes maintained by Jusco in the city will also witness shramdaan.


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