Against all odds, sanitation workers risk lives to keep Charminar clean

Ixora FM provides aid and felicitates sanitation workers

Hyderabad: While the rest of the world is fighting against COVID-19, Hyderabad was left battered with heavy rains which left the city’s roads covered in mud everywhere. And the onus to keep our metropolis clean, especially the Charminar area which is of utmost important, has as always fallen on invisible heroes.

With nothing but brooms in their hands, sanitation workers of Ixora FM in collaboration with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have ensured that the Charminar, which is the city’s foundation, and its surroundings remain clean, in spite of heavy rain fall.

D. Shivani, a resident of Puranapul, has been with the Ixora FM Group, a city-based start-up for nearly two years. Her official title is “sanitation worker”. “I clean the entire stretch from Laad Bazar till the Charminar. My job is to remove thrash piled up in and around the structure. Then I start sweeping the dirt and wash the tiles which are laid around the monument as parts of the Charminar Pedestrian Project (CPP),” says Shivani.

Sanitation work has its own hazards and Ixora FM has ensured that all safety measures like shoes and gloves are provided to prevent its sanitation teams from getting exposed to any disease as they are exposure to dirt and wastage constantly.

“We work in three shifts A, B and C, to ensure cleanliness at Charminar, Makkah Masjid, Chowmahala Palace, Salar Jung museum, Laad Bazar, Nayapul and other areas in the old city. During the cleanliness drives we  find broken glass pieces. We can easily get infected with disease as sometimes we find needles in the garbage as well. So to protect ourselves from all these things, we wear gloves, dress, shoes and faceshields provided by the Ixora FM,” a sanitation worker, Vinay Kumar (33), said.

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He further added that in spite of such dangers  there is always the satisfaction of a job well done, and of knowing that a vital service has been provided for people visiting the Charminar. “We also  take a pledge before starting the cleaning work . It reads ‘We are working with an honest company, we will not take any money. Today we attend our duty to fulfil the responsibilities of cleaning to us’.” Kumar adds with pride.

When Covid-19 infections were discovered ib  Hyderabad, it waa announced that non-essential workers were to stay at home. Amidst of pandemic, wearing PPE kits, sanitation workers of Ixora FM Group showed up for work since April itself. They would arrive sharp at 7 a.m., as usual – ready to go for cleaning.

Company heads and supervisors also gave them gloves, face masks, face shields and also PPE kits to protect against possible exposure, Shivani said.

“We were also scared but Ixora FM regularly counseled us, conducted tests and even provided all essential commodities during the lockdown. We couldn’t just shut down, because all this trash would pile up near Charminar. We have to keep the Charminar area clean,” she said.

Shivani added that since the lockdown was lifted, people are in fact throwing more garbage near the Charminar. Along with GHMC teams, the sanitation workers of Ixora FM are  also conducting awareness campaigns on keeping Hyderabad ‘clean and green’.

Speaking about the cleaning, Rakesh, a supervisor at Ixora FM, said, “We use high end sweepers and scrubbers are used to do floor cleaning at the Charminar. Single desk machines and high quality chemicals which are not harsh for the human body are also used to ensure that the dirt formed in the floor gets completely clean.”

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Krishna Chaitanya one of the directors of Ixora FM said that the idea is to offer employment to the youth in a variety of cleanliness drives at multiple places across Hyderabad. “We train them so that they can perform better and slowly we develop a progression plan so that one can become a supervisor,” he added.

As part of its wish to honor the unsung heroes, Ixora FM, have also felicitated more than 150 Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) workers, who collect garbage and keeps the city clean.

Sanitation staffs who work to keep the city clean were felicitated with a pair of clothes (saree) and were provided with essential commodities in recognition of their service.

“We have been taken up cleanliness drive with a serious intention and under the mission of ‘Hamara Charminar- Swachh Charminar’ to keep the area tidy with the cleaning of tiles which were laid around the monument as parts of the Charminar Pedestrian Project (CPP). Over hundreds of sanitation workers have been assigned to keep the area around the Charminar clean and keep its area always shine, Ixora FM ensures the safety of the sanitation staff while they work by providing all precautionary outfits like gloves, mask, dress and all cleaning equipment,” informs Rakesh.

Furthermore, the Ixora firm have also provided aid like food distribution and clothing as part of flood relief initiative.

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