National Assembly Member Jamshed Dasti on Monday started a campaign to promote public hygiene and respect for sanitary workers in his constituency (NA 178) by sweeping streets in several neighbourhoods.
He led a team of supporters to a tour of the constituency during which they swept streets at the General Bus Stand, Railways Colony and Kinwan Chowk area.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he said with the campaign he wanted to discourage the association of shame with sanitary work. “There should be no shame in earning a living by cleaning gutters or scavenging for solid waste,” he said.
He said the disrespect shown to sanitary workers was condemnable. “We should be grateful that they clear waste from our homes and streets,” he added. He said he believed politicians needed to lead by example. “I can only impress it upon my constituents that they should treat sanitary workers with respect if I do the same myself. I’m demonstrating my respect for them by doing sanitary work myself,” he said.
“I challenge those criticising me for putting up a show to leave their houses and do the job for a day,” Dasti said.
He says he planned to join sanitary workers at Baseera, Shah Jamal and Khangarh areas in the coming days.
Amir Karamat, a Khangarh resident who joined Dasti’s during the city tour, said not many politicians were expected to sweep the streets to promote respect for sanitary workers. “Even if he’s putting up a show, it’s something new. We’re not used to politicians sweeping our streets,” he said.
Dasti had earlier driven a donkey cart across the Muzaffargarh city and completed a country-wide cycle tour to raise awareness about corruption in the society.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2015.
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