How a Soiled Ground was Turned into a Green Park

How a Soiled Ground was Turned into a Green Park

What a wonderful way to celebrate a Birthday! On her Birthday morning, Jamila Germanwala started planting jasmine flowers in the small public park owned by the Municipal Council near her house at Bastiram Ji Ki Bari, Boharwadi. A full time housewife, Jamila is also the reason that the miserable ground that has now become a luscious green park.

 
Article by Shamim Hussain R.V How a Soiled Ground was Turned into a Green Park

What a wonderful way to celebrate a Birthday! On her Birthday morning, Jamila Germanwala started planting jasmine flowers in the small public park owned by the Municipal Council near her house at Bastiram Ji Ki Bari, Boharwadi. A full time housewife, Jamila is also the reason that the miserable ground that has now become a luscious green park.

Jamila’s dedication is great example for any environmentalist, because she was not just planting flowers to beautify the park, but also recycling the same plants, when other were just throwing them away.

“Bastiram Park project” was started in June 2009 on Environment Day, when neighbors around the vicinity gathered and suggested to restore the park which was in a desolate condition. The age-old proverb “Where There is Will; There is a Way” was proven correct once again with one of the forest department’s officials offering to provide plants for the neighborhood’s initiative of developing the park.

The eldest member from each family residing around the park area planted one tree each in a ceremonial event which marked the new beginning of the park’s restoration.

It soon became a center point for the neighborhood and quickly emerged as the best venue for family events and social events. However, this newly found popularity of the park also compromised its cleanliness. The development saw the kids playing in the park but also leaving behind trash.

How a Soiled Ground was Turned into a Green Park

Alas, the same neighbors who were supposed to restore the Park started throwing trash in there and once again the Park becomes the dumping ground and energy to restore the Park start fading away.

But as we wake up from a night-long slumber, there was another wake-up call among this small neighborhood in the year 2011, with the Bohra Youth Medical Relief Fourm organizing an event for Environment Day with the idea of adopting the park being shared by Jamila’s husband, Altaf Germanwala.

Udaipur Municipal Council also welcomed the idea and built a water tank and set up a tube well for the initiative in order to solve the watering issue as well as reimbursing around Rs. 1500 to pay the gardeners for park maintenance.

The families of the area decided to gather again and with the help of the area councilor Rehana Banu Germanwala, they readopted their beloved park. And this time, to avoid any inconsistency, Jamila and her husband Altaf Germanwala took up the responsibility and started cleaning up the park.

The dedicated Germanwala couple found a new set of helping hands from the kids who come to play in the park; they started assisting Jamila with weeding, edging the bushes, and collecting the trash around the park. In addition to helping, these kids were also given responsibilities to ensure that kids don’t leave any trash behind.

“It wasn’t an easy task, but someone had to do it. You don’t call the government to clean your house. So why do we wait for government to clean the park what our kids will use? As a citizen, it is our duty to keep our neighborhood clean in the same fashion as we keep our house clean,” said Jamila and Altaf in unison.

How a Soiled Ground was Turned into a Green Park

The park’s present condition has improved considerably from what it was a few years ago and the credit for this goes to people like Jamila and Altaf as well as others who contributed their time and resources to save the park from desolation.

As it is the case for all such ambitious projects, the couple had to struggle with the initiative by picking up the trash thrown by people and, as always, there was finger pointing as to whose responsibility it was. But in the end, the Germanwalas’ strong determination to bring a new color to the park is the reason that the park is on its way to regain its former glory. Though there is still a long way to go, what is important is that the idea is progressing in the right direction.

I truly wish that the readers of UT draw inspiration by this simple act of ordinary families and start taking an initiative around their neighborhood. Rather than depending on and blaming government, we can all start volunteering a small amount of time out of our daily routine and make a difference. Because ultimately, the government is nothing but an entity which is for the people, of the people and by the people.

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