Delhi

This IAS officer actually practices what he preaches

A placard outside his office reads: “Is kamre ki safai swayam mere dwara ki jaati hai, kripya isey unavashyak roop se ganda kar mere kaam ke bojh ko na badaye. (This room is cleaned by me. Kindly do not add to my work load by making it dirty.)

Meet IAS officer Dr. Ajai Shankar Pandey. He has been cleaning his office himself for years now. He believes that cleanliness and sanitation are not a one-time campaign and when Agra’s sweepers went on a strike, did not mind picking up the broom.

As the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ gains momentum, Dr. Pandey, of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, reaches his office before duty hours daily and cleans the area himself.

Posted at present as Additional Divisional Commissioner in Meerut, Dr. Pandey says, “Cleanliness is a daily routine. Today, everyone is taking part in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. We must remember that cleanliness and sanitation should be a habit. It should be a daily ritual. People must keep the city clean.”

“In India, we have this notion that cleaning is the job of a particular person and that we have got nothing to do with it. In our family system, too, we see women of the family doing all the cleaning, while men in the house never even sweep dust. This impression must go,” says Dr. Pandey.

A graduate in Modern History from Allahabad University, Dr. Pandey says he has always been sensitive towards cleanliness. When he joined office as Sub-Divisional Magistrate at Etmadpur near Agra he got the responsibility of the entire city.

“It began way back in 1994 when as SDM in Etmadpur, the sweepers went on a strike. The residents of the city came up to me as the entire city was full of filth. The demands of the sweepers could not be met immediately. So, I told the residents that I would pick up the broom and that they should also help me. The following day, we went about the city cleaning it of not some sham filth but nearly ten-day old rotting garbage. The city was clean. Seeing this, the sweepers called off their strike,” he shares.

He has also served as Municipal Commissioner of Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur and Kanpur. In all his offices, he took up the task of cleaning the premises.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 9:15:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/this-ias-officer-actually-practices-what-he-preaches/article6470705.ece

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