Close Drains, Save Lives – A Hakku Campaign
Hyderabad: Cities are conceptualized around growth. This has been the rationale for urbanization and the shift in focus from rural to urban. The city is seen as a showcase for the prosperity of a nation, not the village. The city is also the place of dreams of a better life, a just society and good governance. On the sole basis of tax collection and high budget spending, cities must represent the best that a nation can do. But is this happening in India?
Every nation is proud of its cities. And for good reason. Which city is India proud of? There are parts of every city that are perfect, and that’s because of the local residents who can be either influential or politically powerful. The roads are seldom flooded where the rich live, and the lights never go out where the ministers stay. The helpless, on the other hand, live very reduced lives amid varying degrees of misery. Cities discriminate on the basis of infrastructure. Urbanization is reduced to a simple location and not defined by the quality of life.
Hyderabad is no exception. It is a city with complex and overlapping challenges that require participatory and patient repair. Each problem is a composite of several smaller elements that impact the lives of citizens. To give an example, the ravages of the 2020 rain demarcated a clear problem to which there were several clear solutions. One of them was the Nala Strategic Development Plan which did not obtain the support or the funds envisaged.
But in the last days of September 2021, another more disturbing aspect of the city emerged. Open drains on city roads and trails once claimed the life of a 35-year-old software worker in the Manikonda area. Another person, a 52-year-old man, has been missing since he fell into the sewer a few days ago. This is not the first time that such accidents have occurred. These are annual occurrences during heavy rains. Two young children were killed when they fell into nallahs crossing the city. Inadequate retaining walls around these nallahs were the cause of these accidents.
To better understand Hyderabad’s civic issues and work on possible solutions, Hakku Initiative, a Hyderabad-based research initiative under the aegis of the Institute of Perception Studies, New Delhi, was established in February 2021. The slogan and the belief of the organization is “Mana Hakku Mana Hyderabad” (Our Right, Our Hyderabad) and “Mana Hakku Mana Telangana” (Our Right, Our Telangana).
The Hakku Initiative conceptualized and implemented solutions through campaigns, designed around COVID aid, monsoon preparedness, waste disposal, among others. The research was disseminated via the Hakku Channel, a YouTube channel launched in August 2021. The Hakku Channel is India’s only campaign-based channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/
The Hakku campaigns that have made a difference so far include Hyderabad sanitation workers, unemployed teachers, Ganesha eco idols, waste disposal awareness, among others. Hakku Channel also coordinated with government authorities to secure Ms. Rajani, a former sanitation worker with a degree in chemistry, a position at GHMC as an assistant entomologist under the anti-cancer program. urban malaria.
Regarding the open drains, Hakku’s research revealed the following results: some drains have been left uncovered since an earlier time and complaints from citizens have not been addressed; maintenance work has been undertaken but has not yet been completed; the covers have fallen into the drain and need to be replaced; they were kept partially open to prevent flooding in the area.
As a solution, a recent Hakku campaign, #CloseDrainsSaveLives, was launched to urge authorities to close open drains or at least barricade them and protect citizens. The campaign also invites people to share videos, images and locations of open drains so that it can be shared in the public interest. The citizens participated by sending information and this led to the closure of some drains. This solution-based approach will also continue on various other issues and aims to bring immediate and long-term improvement in the lives of ordinary people.
Share information about open drains to: 7842611055
Check out the previous campaign at: https://www.youtube.com/c/
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