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Women clean-up efforts in Gaffar Manzil ruined by mob

Jamia Nagar is in bad shape and residents are concerned about the deteriorating sanitation condition in the locality. Some residents on and off have launched campaign to get the area cleaned. However, at times they have faced stiff resistance from vested interests.

The case in point is a shocking incident that took place in Ghaffar Manzil a few days ago. It is understood that efforts by some women members of Gaffar Manzil Welfare group to improve sanitation in the locality were dashed by a mob. After seeing at garbage woes, some women residents took upon themselves to clean the area, but it all ended on Friday when a mob of around 200 men destroyed the beautification effort.

“A large group of angry men, most of them outsiders, came with sticks and stones. They broke flower pots and laid out waste at the spot which our members had been cleaning up for a month,” said a member of the group as reported by TOI.

“Waste had collected there over time, making it a hotbed of mosquitoes and rodents. With donations, we hired cleaners and got the garbage cleared. We also got the parked cars removed that blocked the garbage trucks,” they said.

RWA president Shameem Siddiqui, present at the location when the incident took place, said: “There was nothing I could do. The mob was adamant that they would not allow the garbage dump to be removed.” Many believe that the mob was politically motivated.

This is not first of its type incident in the locality. A few months ago a group of professionals’ effort to plant saplings in the locality was ruined by some local elements. OKHLATIMES.COM was also part of that campaign as the portal had sponsored sapling to turn the area green. However, a after a few days plants were destroyed.

Residents lamented that there are groups that discourage activists and educated people to take up social work like cleanliness drive in the locality fearing that their support base would erode. Residents recalled the day when a group of activists had launched anti-encroachment drive in the locality. They failed in their endeavour as three activists were attacked by local goons in daylight with very little action being taken against the accused.

Also, some residents pointed out that as municipal corporation election comes closer many such people, claiming to be messiah of the people, will surface and vanish after elections. A resident pointed out that as you move around the locality you could easily find big hoardings of people claiming to work for clean Okhla. There is nothing wrong in it, but the question is where were these people for the last four years, said a resident on the condition of anonymity.

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