NGO team shows the ‘swachh’ way

A dingy slum transforms into a litter-free zone in seven months. Today, the neighbourhood stands as an epitome that fought against clogged drains.

It took seven months for Chilakapeta to get transformed from a dingy slum to a litter-free zone after it was adopted by Shirin Rehman, president of Chaitanya Sravanthi and a Swachh Bharat ambassador.

Today, the neighbourhood stands as an epitome that fought against clogged drains, litter-strewn roads and 30-year-long practice of open defecation.

What started off as a cleanliness mission in the month of February, turned into a consistent endeavour to witness a bigger change. “From cleaning the roads to clearing the drains and displaying permanent instructions to curb open defecation, it was a combined effort to bring about a change in the colony,” says Dr. Shirin Rehman.

Armed with appropriate gear, a team of self-help group members visited Chilakapeta every Saturday not just to give a fresh look to the area but to inculcate a sense of hygiene among slum dwellers. “The unhygienic practice of open defecation seems to be common among children. So that’s when we thought of educating parents on the subject. Though the colony residents took their own sweet time to understand the importance of using toilets, the result is worth the wait,” says the ambassador of Swachh Bharat who was lauded by Municipal Commissioner Pravin Kumar for contributing to the national campaign.

After an extensive advocacy on health and hygiene, today more than 2,500 people living in Chilakapeta are not only keen on segregating wet and dry waste but are taking steps to construct individual household latrine. Dr. Shirin Rehman says, “Teamwork coupled with constant monitoring system always pays. Through our mission, we want to set an example for others to take the lead.”

With the concept of one area at a time, members of Chaitanya Sravanthi, who participated in Swachh Bharat programme on Thursday in the neighbourhood to mark Gandhi Jayanthi, say that they are looking forward to doing their bit for development of smart neighbourhoods.



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