GUWAHATI, July 10 - Not many would know that the average life expectancy of safai karmis (workers of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation’s conservancy section engaged in maintaining the city’s hygiene) is less than 50 years. This is attributed to their work-related stress.
As a mark of solidarity to these workers who toil day and night to keep the city clean, a felicitation programme was organised by the North East Society for Promotion of Youth and masses (NESPYM) on Thursday.
It was also an occasion for expressing solidarity with the Swach Bharat Abhijan and the Mukhya Mantrir Asam Nirmal aru Seuj Abhijan, and organisations who have contributed to keep Guwahati clean.
Sixteen organisations and 34 of their safai karmis and the three best safai karmis of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation were facilitated on the occasion which was a first-of-its-kind event in the North-east.
GMC Mayor Abir Patra, and nonagenarian Gandhian and freedom fighter Hema Kakoty, attended the occasion as guest of honour and chief guest respectively.
The Mayor, while stating that the cleanliness of Guwahati had improved of late, said that the situation was still far for being ideal.
“As Mayor, I am leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we get back at least a part of the cleanliness which we used to enjoy years ago. Without the active involvement of the citizens of Guwahati, this is not an easy task”, he said. Lauding the role of the safai karmis, the Mayor said that because of the work-related pressure, the average life expectancy of the safai karmis is less than 50 years.
“The average life expectancy of safai workers is less than 50 years. This is an area of concern for all of us,” he said.
Highlighting the need for proper sanitation, Hema Kakoty asserted that without a healthy body, there could be no healthy mind, and without proper sanitation, there could be no healthy body.
The NESPYM organised the programme to mark the launch of its silver jubilee celebration. It was also attended by another Sarvodaya worker and Padmashri awardee Hema Bharali and the Regional Director of NIPCCD, Dr Bandana Bhuyan. They also gave away the felicitations.
Dr Chiranjeeb Kakoty, director of NESPYM and one of the founding members of the organisation, presented an insight into the eventful journey of NESPYM and reiterated the organisation’s commitment to revisit the 18-point constructive programme of Mahatma Gandhi which was pertinent even to present day India.