Bengaluru: Babasaheb Ambedkar statue keeps litterbugs away!

Deccan Chronicle.  | Aknisree Karthik

Nation, Current Affairs

With proper toilets and dustbins in short supply, those who lack civic sense exploit public spaces to urinate and dump garbage.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar statue near Wesleyan Centenary Kannada Devalaya in Ulsoor. (Photo:DC)

Bengaluru: Father of Indian Constitution Dr B.R. Ambedkar has accomplished what even the gods could not. Yes, you read it right. With proper toilets and dustbins in short supply, those who lack civic sense exploit public spaces to urinate and dump garbage.

In order to prevent this menace quite often concerned citizens put up images of gods from all faiths and religious symbols.Thought this trick has worked at many places, but there are places where even gods fail to keep the offenders away. 

However, to keep these civic offenders at bay, residents of Bazaar Street in Ulsoor have come up with a novel solution. They have erected a life-size statue of Babasaheb next to Wesleyan Centenary Kannada Devalaya. And to everyone’s surprise, the ‘magic’ of the creator of our Constitution really worked.

All these years the residents of the vicinity and churchgoers had to put up with the stench emanating from the garbage dump next to the church. But after the installation of the statue, all that has stopped. Taking a leaf out of the Ulsoor success story, residents of Rajendranagar too have come up with the idea of erecting a bust of Dr Ambedkar.

M. R. David, founder president of Dr Ambedkar Bangalore Youth Social and Cultural Welfare Trust told Deccan Chronicle, “From many years the stretch of Rajendranagar 80 Feet Road between Passport Office and National Games Village is being used to dump garbage. Apart from being a garbage dump, the place had become commonplace for people to relieve themselves.”

“Pedestrians were forced to cover their nose as the stench was too strong. Repeated complaints to the BBMP also fell on deaf ears,” David added. “We mobilised funds from our trust and have started work for the statue,” Mr David said and went on to explain why they geared up to build Babasaheb’s statue.

“He is the father of our Constitution. None will dare to litter in front of his statue. More than that, no one will keep quiet if garbage is dumped there,” Mr David added. 

Sharing his views on the installation of statues of national leaders like Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi to prevent garbage dumping, Mavalli Shankar of Dalit Sangharsh Samiti said, “People of Devaraj Urs Slum at Tilak Nagar had to install the statue of Babasaheb to clear a black spot in the vicinity. There are many such places where national leaders like Gandhiji, Swami Vivekananda were installed merely to prevent people from dumping waste.” 

“While this is, in a way, a good move as it keeps the place clean, civic sense should come from within,” Shankar added.

We should inculcate the civic responsibility and civic sense in our children. It is the duty of the civic bodies to prevent exploitation of a public space. Under government's ambitious Swachh Bharat crores of rupees are granted, at the same time, BBMP also spends a huge sum on garbage disposal. If all the funds are being spent in a right way, we will not have to install these statues,” he said.

Slamming the attitude of BBMP, Shankar said, “We hardly see any black spots in posh areas, but there are lot in areas where low and middle-income groups reside. Do they think these people will not question and will accept everything?”

Repeated calls to Mayor Sampath Raj and BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad, went unanswered.