A group of young professionals and job aspirants in the city are on a mission to clear eyesores such as ugly signage and graffiti from the city’s walls.
The members of this group have been cleaning the walls since June, spending on the project from their own pockets.
The group, which is called ‘Stopp Us’, at present has seven members, and they have already cleaned four walls. They use a particular paint colour with which they paint over the ugly walls defaced by political graffiti and other slogans.
Depending on the amount of money they are capable of spending, the group members contribute towards the cleaning work. They buy paint, brushes and fuel for their bikes to move around the city for the work. “Every Saturday and Sunday, we make a recce of the city to find out where walls have been defaced. Then, we set a date to clean these walls by painting them,” said Rajendra Prasad Puhan, a member of the group, who works in a software company.
He said they began the drive at Vivekananda Marg near the Old Town area by removing ugly posters on a dustbin put up by the city civic body. “We applied the paint and wrote ‘Use Me’ on the dustbin. This attracted the attention of local residents and we were encouraged to undertake such works on a regular basis,” said Puhan.
Parthasarathi Swain, a software engineer, who has also dedicated himself to this cleaning job, said that because of their hectic work schedule, they take up the work in the mornings between 6 am and 8 am. “This is the time the group members gather at one place and move on our bikes carrying the paint containers and brushes. After we finish the work, we get ready to go to office,” said Swain.
He said they had met city mayor Anant Narayan Jena and showed him photographs of their work. “After I convinced the mayor that we were voluntarily doing the cleaning work, he authorized us in writing to go ahead with our mission,” said Swain.
Uttam Singh, who is preparing to become a charted accountant, said they would soon begin art work on the walls that have been defaced. “We will hire artists to do the art work. We are planning to create a fund for the purpose,” said Singh.
He said they wanted more youths like themselves to join the drive, youths and professionals who can dedicate themselves to such work without harbouring any personal amibition.
The group has also planned to launch a massive plantation drive in the city. “We have started plantation on a small scale by taking help from the forest department. In order to carry out the plantation drive in an organized manner, we will ask the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to provide us space,” said Rajendra Behera, another member of the group.
Source: Times of India
Mayor Jena said the civic authority would extend all support to anyone who takes such voluntary steps to clean the city. “I have seen the work done by the young group members. I think this group can also spread awareness about cleanliness required on several other fronts,” said the mayor.