Mumbai: The services being provided by the conservancy staff of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in these troubled times have not gone unnoticed. Residents of Rajeev Nagar, near Bandra Reclamation, decided to show their gratitude and appreciation for sweepers and sanitation workers by felicitating them with garlands of currency notes on Saturday.
The three sanitation workers had embarked on their duty just like they did every day, sweeping the area and collecting garbage, but Saturday was different. Residents of Rajiv Nagar came out of their homes and began cheering for them.
"They were shocked to see so many people coming out and gathering around them. It felt good to felicitate people like them, who fearlessly work to keep our vicinity clean, braving the risk of coronavirus. Hence, we decided to thank them, boost their confidence and motivate them," said Yusuf Shaikh, one of the residents who organised the felicitation 'ceremony'.
Senior citizens in the area came forward and presented the men with garlands of currency notes totalling Rs 780 each. Then the trio was given shawls and a big round of applause.
Last month, a BMC sweeper working in Dharavi and a resident of the Jijamata Nagar slum in Worli tested positive for coronavirus.
Despite being exposed to unbearable filth and unhygienic conditions daily, conservancy and sanitation workers never shirk work, across the city. In the midst of the pandemic, most of them come to work only equipped with masks and without gloves or protective gear.
"Sanitation workers are on the frontline in the fight against the novel coronavirus. It is a thankless job, which they selflessly do without any expectations. It is sad to see that these sanitation workers and garbage collectors do not have any protective gear. They did not have protective gear before the outbreak, nor do they have it now. We will appeal to the BMC to provide them with protective gear," added Shaikh.
A senior BMC official said, " It was heartening to see residents coming forward to felicitate our sanitation workers. After all, they ensure the city is clean. Their work is even more vital during the coronavirus outbreak, as, despite the fear of contracting the virus accidentally while on duty, they report to work. I am sure this gesture of the residents will motivate them."