In seven hours, they cleaned up a 1.3km stretch.

Armed with brooms ugly Indians join hands with army jawans to clean up Bengalurus EjipuraCourtesy: The Ugly Indian
news Human Interest Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 20:06

 

by Meenakshy Sasikumar

5.30am on Wednesday: 500 army jawans and 10 civilians gathered at the Ejipura signal in Bengaluru.

They were armed - not with guns and rifles, but brooms, pickaxes, and paint brushes.

The team was up and about early in the morning to do what the Bengaluru Corporation officials haven’t managed to in decades: Clean up the Ejipura-Domlur stretch, and give it a good lick of paint.

The initiative was planned by the citizen’s group ‘The Ugly Indian’ (TUI), after they realised that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) was ignoring the stretch because it was defence land. The group then decided to do a ‘spot-fix’ and approached the army officials at the Army Service Corps Centre (ASC) in Ejipura two weeks ago.

Once the army officials agreed, they set a date and time, and the group of anonymous citizens launched ‘Samyogita’.

On Wednesday, they cleaned the 1.3km footpath that extends from Ejipura signal at the Inner Ring Road to Domlur, in seven hours. This stretch of road had given into wilderness, filthy drains and plastic waste. By 12.30pm, they turned the stretch into a hospitable pedestrian walk.

“BBMP had turned a blind-eye towards this stretch. It’s like a no-man’s land for BBMP because it’s a defence area. None of the wards have taken the responsibility to clean it,” said one of the anonymous members of TUI.

Though successful, the cleaning drive was incomplete due to the blockage of drainage systems in the area. “The BBMP engineers have visited the cleaning site and have promised to fix the drains to mark the second phase of the cleaning-drive,” said one of the spot-fixers.

Spot-fixing is a unique initiative by TUI to turn the ugly spots in the city into more beautiful ones. The spot-fixers are an anonymous group of people who share the belief that the country can be fixed only one street at a time. Interestingly, their motto is ‘Kaam Chalu Mooh Bandh’ - No Talking, Only Doing.

This is not the first time that TUI has joined hands with the army. “In fact, they have been working with us for over a year now. They have helped us do at least 10 spot-fixes in the last year,” says a member of TUI.

So far, the group has done over 450 spot-fixes in the city in the last 5 years, a volunteer said. A completely volunteer run organisation, they pay for the fixes from their own pockets. TUI advocates the use of citizens’ resources to change the face of India, instead of waiting for the government to intervene.

Some of their recent spot-fixes include Commercial Street, Domlur Tech Hub, the entrance of Embassy Golf Links Business Park.

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