Paan stains and filth were the order of the day on the Namma Metro pillars below the Trinity Station on MG Road in the past few months.
Neither the civic authorities nor the occupants of commercial establishments nearby bothered to address the problem. Passersby used to happily buy paan from a seller nearby, chew it and spit at the bottom of the pillars, defacing them badly.
However, members of ‘Ugly Indians,’ an anonymous group with a motto to keep city roads clean, have made efforts not only to clean up the mess, but cover the pillars with designer flex banners so that the public are discouraged from spitting on them.
More than 60 members of Ugly Indians group participated in the clean-up activity recently.
“Our activities are spontaneous as we call up or mail our members to meet at a point where there is filth. We don’t depend on authorities as we believe only we can save us from ourselves. On Saturday, we generated funds among ourselves to buy paint, flex and other materials to clean up and beautify the Trinity Station area,” said a member of the group.
Another member said once they removed the paan stains using an acid solution, they decided to cover the base of the pillars with flex banners.
“The banners have a psychological effect on the passersby and restrain them from spitting. We experimented the same on a few pillars in front of Adigas Hotel and in the last one month, the result has been very good,” he said.
The ‘kaam chalu mooh bandh’ (stop talking, start working) motto of Ugly Indians was an eye opener to the owners of commercial establishments.
Many of them joined hands with the group members and helped in cleaning the filth.
D V Shastri, branch head of Axis Bank located nearby, said it was an example of how consolidated efforts could yield results.
“Including me, almost all the staff members at our branch participated in the activity. In future too, we will do our best to keep the station pillars and surrounding areas clean,” he said.
U A Vasanth Rao, general manager (finance), BMRCL, said he also deputed workers of BMRCL to participate in the clean-up activity.
“The number of participants touched 150. Members of Ugly Indians group also painted the footpath slabs. Soon the very look of the entire area changed for good. We want owners and occupants of commercial establishments around Metro stations to take up the cleanliness drive. After all, Namma Metro belongs to Bangaloreans and they should ensure that their property is maintained well,” he said.
Another member of Ugly Indians group lauded the support of BMRCL and said that in the coming days, they were planning to conduct similar activities in other Metro stations too.
“Filth on footpath, paan stains, cigarette litter and urinating in the public are main the problems on the City roads. We need to fight to keep our city clean and beautiful. We need not blame the system. We aim to make a change from within,” she said. Mail the Ugly Indians group at email@example.com.