If you happen to be in the Luteyns’ Zone and bump into a colourful Swachh Bharat mascot telling you to use the bin or not to spit on the road, don’t be surprised. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has deputed these mascots to educate the general public against such civic ills, including open defecation and spitting in public places.
The civic body has deputed 28 mascots in 14 sanitation circles under its jurisdiction to monitor the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi two years ago. “The decision has been taken by the Council taking into consideration the upcoming Swachta Sarvekshan 2017 being conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development from January 4 onwards,” a senior official said.While some of these mascots are the civic body’s own sanitation staffers, others involved in the sector have been hired for the job as well. The mascots will be deputed in crowded places, such as markets, parks, bus stops, railway lines and slum clusters. “Special attention has been given to spots such as JJ clusters and along railway tracks under the jurisdiction of NDMC to curb the practice of open defecation and urination,” the official said.
The mascots will be working in two shifts, the same as the sanitation staff. The civic body had experimented by sending mascots to slum clusters settled along the railway lines a week ago before launching the initiative properly.
“The idea is to educate people about basic civic duties. Though the Council also has a provision of issuing fines for spitting, it is not always viable. From the experiment, we observed that people listen when being educated about an issue by another person. There is a human connect that fines and bill board notifications cannot achieve. We hope to make it a successful campaign,” the official added.