Good Samaritan Ms Maria D’costa & Uxcel Spreading Joy & Love of Christmas with 600 Pourakarmikas

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Good Samaritan Ms Maria D’costa & Uxcel Spreading Joy & Love of Christmas with 600 Pourakarmikas


Good Samaritan Ms Maria D’costa & Uxcel Spreading Joy & Love of Christmas with 600 Pourakarmikas (Sanitation Staff/Garbage Collectors) of Anthony Waste Handling Pvt Ltd, which hauls garbage for Mangaluru City Corporation

Mangaluru: Every year, Ms Maria D’Costa of Mangaluru, the Director of Uxcel, Institute for Excellence, Attavar, Mangaluru comes up with unique programmes for the elderly, and this year was no exception- and recently she hosted the “Generation Walk The ramp Hand-In-Hand’ in association with Rotary Clubs of Bantwal and Mangalore Down Town, both sponsors of the event, at Forum Fiza Mall , where the elderly from all over Mangaluru walked the Ramp with their children and grandchildren. And now during the joyous season of Christmas, which is a celebration of sharing and giving, Ms D’costa came forward with her love and helping towards the hard working Pourakarmikas (Sanitation Staff/ Garbage Collectors), employed with Anthony Waste Handling Pvt Ltd, the garbage hauling contractors for Mangaluru City Corporation.

‘Let’s Honour and Felicitate the Sanitation Staff of Mangaluru City Corporation’ , was a noble thought that became a reality with the joint efforts of Uxcel, the Institute for Excellence, under the leadership of its Director Ms Maria D’costa, and the Roshni Nilaya Alumni Association, School of Social Work Mangaluru. A small project which was to honour just a few, turned out to be a mega event costing over Rs four lakh, as it was decided to honour all : the permanent and the non permanent workers of the Sanitation Department of Mangaluru City Corporation/Anthony Waste Handling Pvt Ltd, Mangaluru.

The response from the public in support of the event was overwhelming. Individuals and Organizations came forward with financial support and goodwill .They appreciated the idea and generously contributed towards the honouring of the Sanitation Staff of the city. On the much awaited day, Sunday,the 15th Dec at 4.30 pm, 32 smartly uniformed students of Casia School received the D.C. with the guard of honour. Their Head master, Everest Crasta and Teacher Rita Fernandes had accompanied them for the occasion .

The Programme began with a meaningful prayer sung by a star singer Abhinav of Uxcel . A welcome with a motivational song was rendered by Maria D’Costa , Director of Uxcel. The audience too joined in the singing. After the lightning of the lamp by the dignitaries on the dais, there was a yoga session conducted by Yoga expert and international referee and examiner Ms Devika Purushotham. The audience very eagerly participated in the exercise . The Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada Ms. Sindhu Rupesh IAS,honored the employees with a towel placed on the left shoulder and the cash gift. Other dignitaries too honored the employees. It was a joy to watch the happy employees receive the honour at the hands of the dignitaries.

In her address to the audience DC Sindhu Rupesh said “Civic workers play an important role in maintaining the beauty of the city and they are the people responsible for the well-being of the entire city,” . Sindhu also said that the importance of the sanitation staff is realized only when they stop working.”The civic workers ignore their own health and clean the garbage. District administration expects the same co-operation from sanitation staff in the future too,” added DC. Monappa, a civic worker after receiving the felicitation expressed his pleasure over the unique felicitation programme and informed that the whole sanitation staff is overwhelmed.

Monappa further said, “The city needs 1,500 civic workers, but only 750 workers are doing the work. Among them, 240 workers are permanent workers and remaining workers are on a contract basis, working for Antony Waste Management. As our work makes us vulnerable to diseases, we need to undergo health check-up at least once in three months,”.

MCC Commissioner Shanady Ajith Kumar Hegde presiding over the programme informed that the MCC has been conducting health check-up camps frequently free of cost and civic workers should utilize such opportunity. Though the organizers have arranged felicitation to over 500 workers, only around 100 workers turned out for the felicitation. However, the MCC would approach all sanitation staff and felicitate them,” he said. Meanwhile, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) officer Ashok Kumar shed light upon the benefits of provident fund, insurance and pension scheme of the government and asked the sanitation workers to approach the EPF office for further information.

MCC Deputy Commissioner ( Administration) Dr. G Santhosh Kumar, MCC Environment engineers Shabarinath, and Madhu S Manohar, Mangalore University English Professor Dr. Ravishankar Rao; Dr Ms Juliet-the Principal of Roshni Nilaya, among others also spoke on the occasion, and commended the gesture shown by Ms D ‘costa, Uxcel and Roshni Nilaya Alumnus towards these sanitation workers. Prior to the formal function proceedings, Prof Maria C. D’Costa welcomed the civic workers in a different way by singing a song. She also made the civic workers sing the same song along with her.

The programme ended with a vote of thanks rendered by the President of Roshni Nilaya Alumni Association, Dheeraj Shetty who profusely thanked the dignitaries, the Sanitation Staff and the generous donors in particular without whose help a programme of such magnitude couldn’t have become a reality. The HEC Team under the leadership of Hisrar, took charge of the Hall and sound system and served the refreshments at the function. Ms Bharathi Shevgoor confidently and painstakingly compered the program. The National Anthem was sung as the function came a close.

For those sanitation workers who couldn’t make it to the programme on 15 Dec, the organizers of the programme , Uxcel and Roshni Alumni Association went to three different sites, where the employees of the Sanitation Dept. assemble to start their work very early morning on 17th December and honoured them all with the well deserved gifts and good wishes. The entire event was well planned and organized with great enthusiasm , kindness and care for the entire Sanitation Staff of Mangaluru City Corporation. It was memorable experience, carried out to completion by Uxcel,Institute for Excellence and Roshni Alumni Association.

Now to talk about The Pourakarmikas of Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt Ltd (AWHCPL)- they are the Real Heroes Behind ‘Swachh Mangaluru’! If our Mangaluru aka Kudla aka Kodiyal aka “Smart City” (however you call it) , looks clean every single day, the credit should go to the hard working Pourakarmikas (garbage collectors) of Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt Ltd, the company hired for waste collection of the City. There may be a few NGO’s or organizations who also involve in the Swachatha of Mangaluru, but theirs is a short term contribution/service. It’s these Pourakarmikas who wake up early in the morning, while most of us are still in bed, in rain or shine, they are ready for their daily job, cleaning the mess created by good and bad citizens of Mangaluru.

Every day we produce tonnes of waste – waste food, sugar cane husk, banana peels, waste meat and vegetables, egg shells, etc etc – which all get dumped into the dustbin, or in plastic bags or thrown along the side of the roads. Most of us give no second thought to where this garbage is going, let alone the people who come to whisk it out of our lives. But for those whose job is actually to clear up the muck daily, get no protective gear, forget about fancy gloves. These men and women where most of them hail from North Karnataka, but living in various places in the City, where they wake each morning at half past five or earlier and make their way to their mustering points, where they are required to assemble before they start their rounds. The group goes from apartment to apartment in the community, collecting their sorted green waste (if at all?) and reject waste. While a few others sweep the streets filled with waste, and collect waste thrown on the road side.

As anyone can guess, this is not a pleasant job to do, but the lack of amenities provided to them exponentially increases its difficulty and how unhygienic it is. No gloves or appropriate shoes have been provided to the group, and they were left with no option but to sort through the stinking mass of garbage barehanded, and climb into it with just a ragged pair of canvas shoes. Once the garbage pickers dump their day’s collections in the Big truck, it is no longer their responsibility. They are done with all their work for the day, and return to their homes with nothing else to do. Added to their meagre income, they make little extra few bucks by selling the dry, recyclable waste. The stench of rotting vegetables, meat and what not, is one which most people would avoid like the plague, but these workers have no choice but to breathe it in day after day.

The truth of such an occupation is that no one wishes to immerse themselves in the filth, but the job has to be done by someone. Despite the almost inhuman conditions and the lack of dignity associated with such work, the need for an income to support his family, and the accessibility of the job drives these sanitation workers to continue working sincerely and with a dedication that is hard to find. When you talk about the dirtiest jobs around, there’s no doubt that the image of a trash collector on the back of a garbage truck comes to mind. After all, it’s their job to handle your garbage all day.

Picking up and dumping trash bins over and over for hours each day is physical­ly taxing, to say the least, but when you throw extreme temperatures into the mix it becomes even more dangerous. In the summer, workers have to stay constantly hydrated in order to avoid heatstroke; a very serious risk for them in the hot months and in the monsoon, they must be sure to take pre­caution to avoid getting cold and fever. Hazardous materials inside trash cans are also a concern. Many get injured from broken glass, used medical needles, nails from construction debris, and many other waste items, but they don’t report.

So, the next time you think of those dirty jobs, don’t forget that some of them (like the tireless job of your hardworking garbage collector) are more than just dirty; they are also more dangerous than you might have realized. And thank the Pourakarmikas for keeping your surroundings clean. And it was indeed a kind gesture of Ms Maria D’costa, Uxcel and Roshni Nilaya Alumni to recognize the work of these Pourakarmikas, and honor them for their service.

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