Mysuru: A garbage dump is a metaphor for everything that is wrong with the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) today. But here is an example where residents, without the help of the civic administration, have transformed a smelly garbage dump into a beautiful place for people to take shelter, spend time and read newspapers, motivating them to keep their surroundings clean. And their inspiration is, PM Narendra Modi and his clarion call for a Swachh Bharat.
Frustrated by constant dumping of garbage at Soppinakeri First Cross, Mandi Mohalla near Yellamma Temple, local youth and residents of the area have cleaned up the place and have constructed a shelter and they have spent from their own pockets for cleaning and construction. What was an eyesore just months back where people covered their noses while passing through the area is now a spic and span place that can be a model for other localities.
The area now sports this elevated structure (to prevent the entry of stray animals) that has been covered with asbestos sheets, supported by iron pillars and railings.
It has stone benches and a newspaper-stand-cum-signboard that welcomes the visitors. It proudly displays the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Logo and also sports the photographs of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Sir M. Visvesvaraya, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Lal Bahadur Shastry, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Lokamanya Balagangadhara Tilak, Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Kalpana Chawla and Salumarada Thimmakka.
Residents have placed a couple of flower pots and have planted a tree by the side of the shelter to provide the much-needed greenery and cool breeze. No smoking, littering or drinking is allowed here and residents say that the women of the area keep a constant watch on the shelter so that it is not misused.
Says Nagaraj, one among the youths who took the initiative, “The garbage mound was a public nuisance and it was a breeding ground for diseases. People used to throw food and household waste and even hotels would dump their vegetarian and non-vegetarian leftovers here. It was a place swarming with flies and stray dogs. Every year, we used to organise religious and national festivals here and the garbage was a problem. We decided to get rid of the waste and here is the result.”
He said that the local youth and the residents pooled in money and over Rs. 50,000 was spent for the structure. “Some people contributed Rs.10 and others contributed Rs.100 and Rs.500. We could manage to collect the money over some months. When the structure was complete, our area Corporator Ramesh alias Ramani offered to install streetlight at the spot,” he said.
Youths including Narayana, Jagadeesha, Sujith Kumar, Nataraj, Shivu and Sunil were actively involved in beautifying the area.