In a first, pourakarmikas to be part of Republic Day parade

Pourakarmikas participate in a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade, at Manekshaw Parade Ground, on Friday.

Pourakarmikas participate in a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade, at Manekshaw Parade Ground, on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

The team of 30 pourakarmikas will be among 44 teams participating in the parade

For the first time, a group of pourakarmikas will be part of the Republic Day celebrations on Sunday with the objective of creating awareness among citizens about proper waste management. They will march holding placards with messages such as ‘Namma Bengaluru Swachha Bengaluru’ and ‘Plastic Vyagisi Parisara Ulisi’.

The team of 30 pourakarmikas, most of whom are from the East zone, is called 'Swachhata Yodharu' (Cleanliness Warriors), and will be among 44 teams participating in the parade.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said it was a proud moment for the civic body. “The 18,000 pourakarmikas of the BBMP bear the onerous responsibility of keeping the city clean. Their work is most important. They deserve to be recognised for the hard work that they put in,” he said. He expressed hope that with their inclusion in the parade, citizens will treat them with dignity and respect.

The move to include pourakarmikas in the parade has been hailed by netizens.

In response to Mr. Anil Kumar's tweet, Vinoo Thimmaya (@vinoothimmaya) tweeted: 'Recognition at grassroot level. Truly appreciate BBMP here'

A Common Man (@SainjeloJ) tweeted: 'Very good. Awesome to have them in the parade a true recognition for their efforts. I will be personally cheering for them'.

This recognition for the pourakarmikas, however, comes after a long struggle. Until the BBMP introduced the biometric attendance system, pourakarmikas had to stage protests to ensure that their salaries were disbursed.

They also struggled to get out of the clutches of garbage contractors. As a result of their struggle, the 18,000 pourakarmikas are now directly employed by the civic body and salaries are disbursed directly to their bank accounts by the 7th of every month.

The BBMP continues to work for the welfare of the civic workers, Mr. Anil Kumar said. “The pourakarmikas claimed that the gloves were hard and cumbersome while the masks made breathing difficult. We have now redesigned the gloves and masks to make them lightweight and washable. These will be distributed to all civic workers. It is already mandatory for them to use protective gear,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:56:33 AM |

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