The power of the people

Responsible residents
Last Updated 25 August 2015, 18:31 IST

Everyone wants a beautiful Bengaluru that is free of garbage and potholes. But not many want to do their bit to keep the City clean. Street corners double up as dustbins and one often sees trash strewn on walkways. Then, the responsibility of maintaining the City is dumped on the BBMP. 

However, there are a few resident welfare associations that are setting an example by actively doing their bit to keep their surroundings clean. One such example is the RMV Extension whose residents have initiated a lot of projects to beautify their locality. It wouldn’t be wrong to call their area a ‘paradise’ as the residents never get a chance to blame the civic authorities.

While community-based activities in many areas have just  begun to increase, it was 20 years back that the ‘RMV Residents Welfare Association’ was started. One of the committee members of the association, Deepak Shah, explains, “We all keep our houses clean but neglect our surroundings. To double the value we hold for cleanliness, a group of residents started the association, which has been active for the past 10 years now and we will continue to carry forward the work.”

Be it door-to-door garbage collection, ground level waste segregation, organic composters, nurtured roads, safe electric poles — the area has become synonymous with evolution. 

“We like to call ourselves self-sufficient. It is very rare and only when we have certain functional problems that we depend on the BBMP. Nevertheless, they are supportive of our cause and the corporators have helped us with a few developmental works,” he says. The association has a full-time manager and there are about seven permanent workers who clear the garbage from all the houses in the neighbourhood by 9 am.

Another committee member, Supriya Singh, says, “It has been seven years since I have been an active member of this association. I have witnessed the developmental works and seen how our roads have changed for good. We have adopted the park and it is well-maintained. The word ‘clean’ is highlighted in all corners of our area.” The funds are generated within the association through the residents. “We charge the residents based on the square feet of their houses and flats. We collect between Rs 2,000 and Rs 10,000 annually. However, it is not compulsory; about 50 per cent of the residents do not contribute anything,” says Deepak.

With no intervention of any commercial establishments, the area is developed, thanks to the funds donated by the residents. They have a club and the association meets twice a year — on August 15 and post Diwali.

They now aim to build a community centre with the financial support from the BBMP. Supriya adds, “Our next project is to develop another park in the area and make it a home for activities like yoga, dance and many more. We are also planning to install a few speed-breakers.”

(Published 25 August 2015, 14:38 IST)

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