AN HONEST STEP ALONG THE SWACHH BHARAT EFFORT – Def min lauds Bohra endeavour

Community has, since 2012, deployed 100 volunteers across Cantonment localities, keeping the area around 10 households each clean
A community effort that has, for the last four years, involved members of the Bohra clan living across areas of Pune Cantonment coming together to keep not just their homes, but also the areas around them spick and span, was on Sunday lauded by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who was coincidentally in the city for a Swachh Bharat programme organised by Cantonment authorities.Of the approximately 1,800 Bohra families residing in Cantonment, some 100 young volunteers have come together for years now, with a pledge to adopt 10 households each and ensure that the area around them stays clean.Interestingly, around 40 per cent of the Bohri community in the city resides within Cantonments limits.

Said Zoher Harnesswala, joint secretary of the Pune Burhani Muhallah, “In 2012, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the religious head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, issued a `farman’ about maintaining cleanliness in our neighbourhoods. We began this initiative accordingly. As of now, it is limited to Bohra neighbourhoods, and we have volunteers between the ages of 18 and 25 helping us. We emphasise that cleanliness begins at home, and then goes beyond that to the community.“

Under this programme, all volunteers are allocated a list of households -they have to conduct surprise visits to check on cleanliness around these homes as well as meet routinely with the homeowners. Last year, the volunteers also carried out a larger public drive on MG Road, setting up 200 dustbins in different areas of Pune Cantonment.

Appreciating the initiative, Parrikar said, “Cleanliness is not just a topic on which speeches should be delivered -it is something we should all act on. I just met a few volunteers from the Bohra community, who have been conducting cleanliness drives in Pune Cantonment since the last four years. If such initiatives are carried out, I am sure that the targets of the national Swachh Abhiyan will be achieved within just a year.“

The event, organised by Pune Cantonment Board (PCB), was held at Kohinoor Chowk off M G Road on Sunday morning, attended by several students, elected members of the three cantonment boards, army officers, and more.

Volunteer Hozefa Chalisa, a practic ing architect, shared, “Clean spaces lead to clean souls is our slogan. We see to it that there are no leakages around the areas we invigilate. We also convince people about simple steps like segregating dry and wet waste, not spitting on roads, etc. People are receptive.“

Another volunteer, Bodrul Jamali, said, “Civic sense cannot come to people overnight. Pune Cantonment generates around 40 tonnes of garbage every day. Areas like Babajan Chowk, Kumbhar Bawadi, Kondhwa Road, Shitala Devi Chowk, Jaihind Chowk, Ghorpadi village, Shivaji Market and more are still surrounded by dirt and we have a long way to go. But, my experience says that when we are spreading a good message, awareness and motivation will surely disseminate, too.“

Murtaza Nasir, a final year engineering student and volunteer, said, “Last year, we created a video explaining garbage disposal. Our volunteers showed it to different residents of our locality -eventually, people from other parts of the city came and requested us to do the same in their areas!“

DGMO EFFORT UNDERWAY TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE JAWAN FROM DHULE, WHO WANDERED INTO PAKISTAN ON THURSDAY, PARRIKAR ASSURES AUDIENCE

At Sunday’s event, the defence minister also spoke about the efforts underway to secure the release of army jawan Chandu Babulal Chavan, who last week strayed across the border inadvertently and is currently reported to be in Pakistan’s custody. “A well-established mechanism through the director general of military operations (DGMO) has been activated to secure Chavan’s release,“ Parrikar said. On September 30, Chavan from 37 RR crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control, following which Pakistan was informed of the incident on the hotline by the DGMO.

Parrikar also said, repeating an oftmentioned official line over the last few days, “Such inadvertent crossing over happens in border areas, both by army men and civilians -it is not unusual on either side.“

Source : Mirror

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