Journey of how Garbage Spot (Blackspot) got fixed near Bus Stand in Jalandhar, Punjab by Youngsters

Namaste Everyone,

My name is Bharat Bansal from a city named Jagraon in Punjab. From a while, I wanted to do something about these garbage spots which I usually saw on streets & other public places. Something from my inside stopping me to take the step, may be some fear that I am alone, what people might think. I usually came to this point that I will build my team in my city & we will together take actions. However not able to do so.

While I was taking sessions with youngsters in Jalandhar, I thought why not to build the team here & start here in Jalandhar. This thought & a push from my Reap Benefit team members made me to work on the cleaning of garbage spot which I have discovered on 20th Mar 2023 when I was coming out of Bus Stand of Jalandhar in Punjab.

I just took the Geo location mapped photo & observed the surroundings. There were lot of autos parked & food vendors near to the spot.

My next step was to do investigation.

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I have investigated about the discovered garage spot via following ways.

General Observation

  • I found that nobody clearly knows the ward number of that place. Drivers were also throwing used cups to that heap of garbage.
  • There were no dustbins placed outside the bus stand.
  • This waste looked like it was here from almost 4-5 months which were accumulating slowly

Which kind of waste is mostly available?

  • Dry food packets
  • Mud
  • Urine
  • Wet waste food thrown in one plastic bag
  • Clothes
  • Alcohol Bottles
  • Broken Pieces of glasses?

What does the place look like? Location?

  • Near one of the pillars of the bridge, opposite bus stand Gate no 5
  • Ward no 21
  • Autos are parked there and drivers are sleeping near to this spot

Who are the people I & team spoke to?

  1. Food vendors, few are being there from last 9-10 years, some gave payments to the MC for being there. Some are being there illegally for their livelihood.
  2. Auto rickshaws - 2 unions are there around
  3. Local Corporation Sanitary Inspector, Community Facilitator

What we got to know after talking with them

  • I have talked to 3 auto drivers (6-7 years of working as auto drivers near a bus stand) who have shared that they have collected all this waste and made 2 heaps nearby under the bridge so that rain does not affect the waste nearby. No sweeper comes to clean this. They themselves cleaned and sometimes burned this also to avoid becoming big heaps

  • I had talked with 1 food vendor there. He has been working for the last 8-9 years. He shared whenever some minister comes, then and only then this space gets cleared. Even the sweepers from the bus stand do not clean this as this does not come under their jurisdiction. I have also seen at the opposite corner, waste was burnt too. Auto drivers are ready to pay the cleanliness worker to pick the garbage.

After doing an investigation, I started thinking how do we clean this spot?

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In order to solve, I thought of cleaning it using the Reap Benefit playbook of fixing such spots. I invited youngsters to be the part of the team & we will be together going to clean it along with taking full precautions.

I also went to health department of Corporation office for their support & invite them to be part of this garbage spot fix. I got their support as I was taking on ground actions already in Jalandhar. One of the Sanitary Inspectors, 2 Community Facilitators & 2 motivators along with 2 sweepers became the part of the team.

There will be a team of 6 young girls from PCM SD College for Women who are ready to be a part of this clean up drive.

Materials we bought & brought

  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • 1 student (Simran) brought jhadu
  • White Paint Box
  • 1 big, 1 medium, 1 small brush
  • 1 pot which Simran & Rajat took from somewhere
  • 1 Phenyl bottle
  • 2 small showels
  • 1 big bamboo seek broom, we took from Sanitation worker
  • 4 Sacks in which waste would be put

In the morning, we all reached in between 9-9:30 am. We took the pre-cleaning picture. We started picking the waste which we could pick from our hands & started putting it into sacks. Meanwhile Waste picker came with the Rehda in which he started putting the waste along with Sanitation workers. Sanitation workers helped us pick up the remaining waste which contained broken glasses. Post this, we cleaned the space with water which contained phenyl as there was a urine smell.

It was lovely to see that one of the citizens distributed almost 15+ Maza bottles to us, one of the food vendors gave us 3 water bottles, and the Auto Union people gave us a bottle of coke to drink. Even the Sanitary Inspector(SI) Aman sir along with Community Facilitators (CFs) Suman & Saroj Ma’am talked to vendors nearby not to throw waste & asked where they threw their waste. One of the NGO representatives named Kirti Kant ji also supported us in doing the work.

So after taking a drinks break, we started beautifying the cleaned space. We came up with the ideas. As a group, we decided to write a positive message. As there were a lot of advertisement posters stuck on the wall, we chose the area under which we would do the painting. We decided to put up the banner next time. 2 auto drivers came to support us in the first layer of painting. Then we started writing a quote in Punjabi. We also did a small drawing so that it would be easy to understand those who weren’t able to read Punjabi. Then we kept the pot at the cleaned place where the place was not levelled.

Some of the vendors thought that any Minister was coming as a result, cleaning was done. :sweat_smile: Two auto drivers whom I have talked earlier, they appreciated our efforts as they were saying that “Youngsters ne kaam karke dikhaya hai’’

Finally, it took us between 4-4.5 hrs to make this place look clean. We were happy as we could see people were now able to walk in that place. After this, we cleaned our hands, took the post cleaning picture & went to have a good lunch.

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Finally, we have shared our work with the team. I have created the below video in order to share our work done as a glimpse. :grinning:

This has been shared by PMIDC team over their twitter page also.

Acknowledging the efforts of team members Riya, Parneet, Pallavi, Simran, Harpreet, Khawish & Rajat. Thanks to MC Jalandhar Team for supporting us. Thank you! :innocent:

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