Five years on, BBMP teams up with The Ugly Indian to beautify City

Better late than never

Five years on, BBMP teams up with The Ugly Indian to beautify City

For more than five years, The Ugly Indian (TUI), a group of anonymous people, has been ushering in a silent revolution in the City by identifying and beautifying black spots—shabby footpaths, dirty street corners or just about any badly maintained place.

Its work won it accolades from all quarters but the group could not endear itself to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) even in the midst of the garbage problem which dented the Palike’s image globally.

It has, however, suddenly dawned on the BBMP that it should replicate the group’s model of ‘spot-fixing’, a term coined by the TUI volunteers to ‘fix’ or beautify a black spot. The BBMP thought of emulating the TUI only after Mayor B S Satyanarayana read about the group and happened to meet its volunteers.

On his request, the TUI volunteers without revealing their identity agreed to ‘fix’ some of the ugly spots in his ward (Basavanagudi) on an experimental basis.

A week ago, the BBMP with the help of TUI volunteers beautified a black spot at Thyagarajanagar and NR Colony. The place at NR Colony was a footpath near a vacant site which people had turned into a dumping zone for garbage. The ugly spot would stink badly as it had become the choicest place for passersby to urinate themselves even during the day.

The TUI volunteers and the BBMP’s sanitation workers first cleared the garbage heap from the spot then sprayed germicides and pesticides before washing the place. They also rebuilt the broken boundary wall of the vacant site and painted it. The transformation in just three hours in his neighbourhood prompted the Mayor take the paint brush himself and whitewashed the wall.
Residents were amazed to see the Mayor painting the wall, and wondered if it was possible to transform the place in three hours. His instant reply was: “Why not?”

The TUI volunteers then erected a bench on the footpath and kept flowerpots around it.
Their efforts changed the looks of the entire area, prompting morning walkers to rest for a while near the ‘fixed spot’ every day and spend sometime there, sitting on the bench. The voluntary organisation took three days to fix as many ugly spots in Basavanagudi ward, leaving residents and passersby amazed.

The Mayor told Deccan Herald that the Palike would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the TUI under its ‘Namma Bengaluru, Nanna Koduge’ (NBNK or Our Bangalore, my contribution) drive.

Satyanarayana asserted that the Palike had chosen to engage with the TUI only now because it was an anonymous group and the civic agency learnt about it just recently. “We are impressed by their work so we want to work with them to beautify the City,” he said.

But the Palike will not earmark any funds for the TUI as the MoU will be signed under NBNK, and volunteers will have to contribute. “But we will certainly provide them manpower and necessary material to beautify the City,” the Mayor said.

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