With brooms in hand daily they sweep the streets of the city and clear garbage strewn around. Its because of them Mysuru has been awarded as the cleanest city in the country for two consecutive years. But the locality where these Pourakarmikas reside is not clean and they are deprived of all basic amenities.
The pourakarmikas toil to keep the city clean, whereas own living quarters are completely neglected. Nobody has been assigned to clean their colonies and remove the garbage which can often be found littered all over the area and causing mosquitoes to breed.
The residents are forced to throw garbage in open spaces as MCC has made city free of garbage containers. This apart, some slums do not have proper roads, access to clean drinking water, non functioning street lights and lack several other basic facilities. In all there are 62 declared slums and 14 undeclared slums in MCC limits. About 620 permanent pourakarmikas and 1645 work on contract basis.
Social Worker, Punith, who is working with slum dwellers said that the slums too need to be developed. It should begin by educating people residing here about cleanliness and hygiene. 'I have been working with these slum dwellers for the past two months and found to my surprise, there was not a single day when garbage collection was removed and cleaned,' he added.
MCC Pourakarmika Association President Mara said that 'Officials and elected reps think only of keeping the city clean and we are completely neglected. We go across city to clean garbage, and nobody has been assigned to clean our colonies. The garbage can often be found littered all over the area and causing mosquitoes to breed. MCC and corporators should take initiative and consider these slums as a regular part of their wards.'
Former Mayor Purushotham said that due to negligence of corporations and lack of interest shown by officials the garbage collection is not good. Even people have to be educated to keep their localities clean, he added. Mayor Bhyrappa said: 'Pourakrmikas should themselves set aside some time and clean their localities. Some of them dump the collected garbage in their localities, and after collecting valuables litter the waste. Its their duty to keep their localities clean.'
Slum dwellers of Gandhi Nagar, Shanthi Nagar, Kesare-Kuri Mandi, JP Nagar, Ekalavyanagar, Mandi Mohalla and Highway Circle allege that in spite of repeatedly bringing it to the notice of the officials to make arrangements for daily collection of garbage their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
The pourakarmikas start their work quite early in the morning at 5.30 am and continue till 2 pm, during which they collect garbage from every household visiting door to door, sweep main thoroughfares, lanes and bylanes, address UGD complaints besides clear garbage at street corners.