Shazia makes clean break from AAP

Cutting across party lines, former Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and highlighted the role of ragpickers in the sanitation process in Central Park, Connaught Place, on Wednesday.

“Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is incomplete without kabariwalas, ragpickers and safai karamcharis,” she said while addressing ragpickers who came in large numbers under the banner of ‘Kabadiyon Ke Kadam Swachh Bharat Ki Aur’ (Ragpickers walk towards clean India). The event was organised by NGO Chintan.

It was her first appearance with Bharatiya Janata Party Delhi Pradesh president Satish Upadhyay after being nominated as one of the crusaders of the Prime Minister’s Clean India campaign.

“They are the true soldiers of this abhiyan. We need to learn from them about waste management and recycling. We salute and honour them today and support their work,” added Ilmi.

“The campaign is not a single party’s initiative. I have invited all the parties to join hands in making Delhi clean. I want to provide safai karamcharis a dignified identity,” Ilmi said.

People gathered in the Central Park tied green ribbons on their arms and called for a green and clean Delhi.

Upadhyay said besides the sanitation workers, ragpickers play an important role in maintaining cleanliness. He assured that the Delhi BJP will present the social and other problems of the ragpickers before the Union government and try to introduce social security scheme for them.

The Delhi BJP will start working to provide free medical insurance to these ragpickers under the social security policy of the government, he added.

According to NGO, ragpickers help in recycling around 20 per cent of the total waste generated in the city. “Waste pickers are the pride of the nation, they are not a nuisance,” said Bharti Chaturvedi, Founder and Director of Chintan.

Chintan reports say 1.5 lakh people engaged in this sector which recycle at least 2,000 tonnes of paper, plastic, metals and glass daily. “They save 3.6 times more greenhouse gases than any project in India that gets carbon credits,” said NGO.

BJP Delhi Pradesh president Satish Upadhyay has invited the Amitabh Bachchan to participate in the campiagn.

“Amitabh Bachchan told the BJP Pradesh president that a major part of his student life has been connected to Delhi and he will certainly reiterate his commitment for clean Delhi,” said BJP in a statement.

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