Mehrauli area of Delhi is known for its historical significance as well as its dirty spaces that have been for years served as dumping ground. Once this area was the home to Medieval rulers popularly known as rulers of the Delhi Sultanate. Nowadays with the migration boom in the city, the locality became quite congested. The story of 45-year-old Sandhya Singhal who is currently residing in Qutub Green Apartments at Mehrauli is full of inspiration. Singhal has not visited the park opposite her home as it was in pathetically dirty condition. According to the Indian Express, all this changed when on September 21, Singhal along with a woman in the colony took up the daunting task of cleaning the park. Interestingly, it is a part of Mehrauli Archaeological Park.
Singhal said that the sewer next to the park was overflowing so people began to throw garbage and the park became a dumping ground. She added that whenever she had to cross the park she kept a handkerchief on her nose as the smell was foul. It was a health hazard and she didn’t allow her children to go near it. She then decided that the park has to be cleaned up.
The task of facelifting the park was done through intensive hard work. Singhal and her group of friends approached South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) councillor (Mehrauli) Aarti Singh and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to help with the cleanliness drive. Singhal also collected funds from residents. She also swept the park, picked up garbage and planted saplings. Through a WhatsApp group, ‘Swachh Mehrauli’, the volunteers plan meetings, asked for donations and assign various duties.
Uma Das, a 44-year-old resident in the colony said, “The elderly living here have started taking walks in the park, the children now play badminton here, and all of us have a park right next to our homes to visit. It has made a huge difference to our lives.”
Singhal said that it took about 20 trucks full of garbage to facelift the park. SDMC brought in 30 trucks full of mud to level the area. A DDA official said that “the park was a disaster earlier, there was so much garbage. We helped with picking up the garbage and providing plants”.
This story is inspirational in the sense that it tells about the willingness of an individual to tackle increasing pollution and preventing the spread of deadly diseases in the city. What Singhal and her group of friends have done is an example of responsible citizenship.