Covid brought in much-needed respect, honour for his profession

A day in the life of a sanitation worker

Covid brought in much-needed respect, honour for his profession

MC safai sewak Shiva wants everyone to be hygiene conscious. Tribune photo

Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar November 22

Shiva, a safai karmchari of the Municipal Corporation at Katra Parja in Ward Number 50, starts his day at 6.30 am. He reaches the zonal office to mark his attendance at 7 am and then starts off with his work — sweeping streets in the area.

As per the official schedule, there is no tea or lunch break for him, but he takes a small break in between to have something on the pavement.

Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak, Shiva has observed a change in the attitude of people and the MC officials. Now, the MC conducts their regular check-up. Not only this, safai sewaks were even honored with garlands and showered with flowers during the peak days of the pandemic.

“Residents have become more conscious about hygiene but there still are some people, who are not concerned with cleanliness at all. We don’t mess up with anyone. I am thankful for those who avoid littering here and there. Residents should also cooperate with the sanitation staff to keep their surrounding clean,” Shiva said.

“We clean the streets in the morning and put the garbage in the bins. Later, garbage collection vehicles collect it and shift it to the dumping site. But a number of shopkeepers open shops around 10 am and scatter all garbage in the street after cleaning the shops. The MC has installed bins, but residents avoid using it. Shopkeepers and residents should dump garbage in the bins, as it is convenient for us to collect it,” he said.

Shiva and his co-workers have some grievances with the MC as well about their duty timings and work. However, they are now satisfied that the civic body has released their salaries on time without any delay. Earlier, we used to get salaries late which demotivates workers. We have some demands and our unions are struggling for it.

Shiva left for the day around 2 am, but during festive season, he puts in extra hours to keep our surroundings neat and clean.

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