Sanitary workers seek respect

Sanitary workers seek respect

Visakhapatnam has achieved 23rd rank in the Swachh Sarvekshan 2019 survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India

Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam has achieved 23rd rank in the ‘Swachh Sarvekshan 2019’ survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.

The sanitary workers of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) played a key role in achieving the rank, though it slipped to the lower rank.

Although they (sanitary workers) are the ones who clean up all the mess and trash, Municipality workers are seldom respected and ironically they are termed 'unclean people'

Armed with brooms and the bright uniforms, GVMC women workers set to work tirelessly when the city falls asleep and before it springs to life again. Though they are prone to many diseases while involving in sanitation works like cleaning roads and drainages, they do play a significant part in protecting the environment by clearing up the mess on regular basis.

K Satyavati, a GVMC employee who works in Sivajipalem area, said, “My husband is a drunkard, who does not work and even if he goes for some work, he spends that income in drinking, so I find this job useful to support my children and provide education. It is disturbing how some people continue to throw garbage on the road irresponsibly. I think this irresponsible trend should change.”

S Ravanamma, who has been working for the last 20 years in this field, said “I live along with my mother, who is physically handicapped. I am satisfied working for GVMC, we have half-day leaves on Sunday and Wednesday and we work from six to 11 in morning and 2 to 5 in evening, when ministers or other officials visit, we will have double-duty too, with which we can take a leave later.”

B Lakshmi, another sanitary worker said, “We are in financially better now. My drunkard husband left me when I was pregnant. This job helped me to stand on my own since I manage to pay house rent, children’s school fees and other bills with the salary I earn."

She added, "Although we sincerely clean all the roads daily, we also request citizens to be responsible and throw waste in garbage bins to help us make the city paint a clean and beautiful picture.”

By M Anurag Sai Krishna

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