‘With brooms in hands, both wake up early morning to reach their respective areas’
Srinagar, Mar 12: With the first light of the day, Fatima, starts her day with a broom in her hand always jostling to reach a posh locality in Srinagar with a sole aim to clean the garbage. She works as a sweeper with the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).
There is hardly any day when she doesn’t clean the area she has been asked to clean. Inhaling the dust, she keeps doing her work to meet the needs of her family. She works in ward 22 in city since past 11 years and has braved all odds so far like a “true soldier.”
According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Fatima, single-handedly tries to strike a balance between her personal and professional life. She has two sons who couldn’t continue their studies due to poverty. Her husband being a daily-wager is unable to find living every day.
Even though the job she has choosen has a social stigma attached to it, Fatima is committed to her job. “Doing this kind of work always brings indignity with it but I have to do this because of poverty,” she says, amid sobs.
She can’t even afford a single holiday because she has to manage a substitute on her behalf which is difficult most of the times. “From past 11 years, I have been working as a daily wager with SMC when according to the rule, the daily wager or temporary period is for seven years only,” she says. “After working every day for the entire month, I have to wait for another 3 to 4 months to get the hard earned money I deserve.” This increases her mental burden all along.
Fatima is among other two women who work in ward 22 of SMC department. Another is Shakeela. She is raising four children, three daughters and a son. She has to manage the education of her two daughters and son all on her own as her husband works in a local cycle repair shop which does not bring much to the table. “People should cooperate with us by using tempos provided by SMC to throw the garbage. That makes out job easy,” she told KNO.
According to latest survey Srinagar is amongst top 55 cleanest cities the credit of which goes to Fatima and many other women like her, who try their best to keep Srinagar clean