A not-so-happy expression of those indulging in open urination with garlands around their neck as seen in videos and photos seem to have moved a section of GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) officials.
A few days after the civic body started a unique campaign against open defecation and urination by garlanding the people caught in the act, some officials within the GHMC have opposed the method of shaming them by uploading the pictures and videos on social media.
“Some officers are concerned that a sensitive person caught by us might commit suicide or harm himself out of shame if his video is uploaded,” said a senior official of the Health and Sanitation wing of the GHMC. “Our intention is to only create awareness. We also explain to the offender in a humble way that the city has to be kept clean and what he is doing is illegal. We do not think that this will trigger any extreme action. This programme will discourage people from urinating in the public.”
In the last two days, around ten people were garlanded while capturing the action on camera by the officials.
From April last year till date, the GHMC has booked 145 cases of open defecation and urination and collected around Rs 27,000 as fine amount.
However, there are many who believe this type of shaming will yield results instead of just penalising.
Early last year, a traffic inspector posted in the city was the first to come up with the idea of garlanding those who ease themselves in the open.
“A terrible stench used to emanate from some places under my station limits, said T. Rama Swamy, Traffic Inspector, Mahankali Police Station, “Since I wanted to do something about the issue I started with a non-violent practise of garlanding the people urinating and requesting them to refrain from it. The one-month campaign was a success and now hardly anyone goes to these spots to urinate.”
In the last three months, Hayathnagar Corporator, Sama Tirumala Reddy too has embarked on a similar mission which made him a hit on social media. He claims to have caught almost 600 people defecating or urinating in the open and asking them take a pledge to not repeat again. Some of these are caught on camera and uploaded to his facebook pages.
“A uploaded a video of a man urinating near a place of worship. I reprimanded him and asked him not to do it. This video got more than one lakh views. It shows that a large number of people are seeing such videos which will stop them from dirtying their surroundings. I can say that my initiative has educated people and lot of corners are no more used for urination,” he said.
What the rulebook says
Those who indulge in open defecation or urination are liable to be fined up to Rs 5000 with a maximum imprisonment of up to one month.
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