Meet This MLA, Who picks up garbage, cleans drains

published on July 23, 2008

This MLA picks up garbage, cleans drains

N Anand, fondly called “Bussy” Anand, is a busy man. A first-time MLA, he was elected from the Bussy assembly constituency in the Union territory in 2006 and hence the prefix.

And when the 44-year-old legislator of Puducherry Munnetra Congress is not pushing for schemes, meeting voters or discussing local politics over a cuppa, he’s clearing garbage, cleaning clogged drains and spraying mosquito repellent across the town.

And he does this with his own money, spending Rs 75,000 to Rs 85,000 every month from his earnings.

Anand’s dual role began nine years ago when, disappointed with the government’s slack conservancy work, he started a garbage collection unit of his own.

Since then, he has been going to the ‘field’ himself, assisting a small team in spraying mosquito repellent, clearing blocks in drains and undertaking door-to-door collection of garbage from all households in his constituency.

When his nine-year-old unit launched an intensive cleaning campaign last week, the MLA was spotted going around in a spotless white shirt and pants with a mosquito repellent kit on his back, covering the thoroughfares of Puducherry.

And he doesn’t do it for publicity: for long, he was neither given a party post nor a ticket while he was in Congress.

But Anand plodded on with garbage-clearing, not letting the mess in the Congress stop him from cleaning the city.

“The government is not effectively undertaking garbage clearance work,” he says, as he expertly sprays repellent on an open sewage drain. Anand’s unit, which started with a single tricycle and two men in 1999, has 14 members today, equipped with four tricycles and gadgets “to carry out our mission”.

So much so that residents refuse to hand over garbage to the government conservancy staff and wait for Anand’s unit every morning. The members visit all households daily, barring Sundays, from 6am to 12 noon, and from 4pm to 6pm and collect segregated garbage.

“People appreciated my work and rewarded me by electing me in 2006. I am grateful to them, but my garbage collection campaign will continue forever,” said the first-time MLA. “The workers engaged by the municipality haven’t got their salaries for the past 11 months. They staged a token protest and are now threatening to go on indefinite strike. It is high time the municipality evolved a long-term plan for clearing garbage,” says the MLA.

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