Every morning around 5 ish on my way to the mosque and back I see a man, in his khaki dress, diligently sweeping the roads starting from Bamboo Bazar near Madina masjid. It was quite heartening to see that so early in the morning, when most of the world is sleeping, this old man with his broom(s) is making sure that all the dirt we left yesterday on the roads on bamboo bazaar is cleaned before the world wakes up (to dirty it again). What caught my attention was his diligence, his sincerity, his hard work; never saw him sitting around for a tea; whenever I saw him he was sweeping, sweeping hard and with all sincerity.
I decided to stop by and chat today, he was at Netaji Road by this time, plucking every piece of garbage from every corner of that road while the traffic zips by. I asked him, “kya naam hai?” (what’s your name?), he was a little puzzled and said, Narayan “kion koi complaint hai kya??” and repeated it in english “any complaint you have?”. He speaks 3 languages easily. I said “nai koi complaint nai hai”, “thank you bolna tha”, (No complaint. Just wanted to say thanks). His concerning look gave way for a nice smile.
Narayan is 58 years young. His day starts at 4 in the morining and he sweeps 5 roads every day for 30 years now. He finishes his work by 1:00 in the afternoon. His wife passed away 17 yrs ago, he has 3 daughters and a son, 2 of daughters are married. Son is working in a bank and last daughter in a mobile company (he could not put his finger on the nature of work).
Narayan, I would like to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for doing such a wonderful job and for keeping our city clean for 30 years; and I am sorry we increased your work by filthing the roads more and more. I do not know who will keep this city clean after you retire.
Educationist & Politician