When potholes lay unattended on Gough Road outside the NSG (National Security Guard) hub in Secunderabad Cantonment for almost three years, one WhatsApp message by a
68-year-old woman was all it took to drive citizen action.
“I am going to do what I can do to fill the potholes. Whoever is interested, please come and join the effort,” said senior citizen Gulshan Bamboat’s message on a WhatsApp group, fixing Sunday evening as the date of action.
After the Cantonment administration didn’t respond to their plea, over 70 men, women and kids from Sainikpuri and surrounding areas joined hands to fill the potholes.
The road conditions had worsened after the previous week’s incessant rains. Rattled by daily accidents caused due to potholes on Gough Road, she started the initiative.
‘Shramdan’ was the movement launched to gain the attention of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) and Local Military Authority (LMA) to the deteriorating roads and take measures to repair them.
Inspired by the story of 12-year-old Ravi Teja, who voluntarily started repairing potholes in Hyderabad, Gulshan Bamboat put the movement into action. She mobilised more than 50 senior citizens for Shramdan to fill potholes.
While Secunderabad Cantonment has 26 roads, 15 of them have been closed by the officials citing security reasons. Despite the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s advice to open, no action has yet been taken.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Gulshan said, “It was a collective impulse. During a debate on the bad conditions of the roads in a WhatsApp group, most of us expressed our frustration. I proposed that we should do Shramdan (offering work). Actually, I was inspired by the 12-year-old boy Ravi Teja, who had voluntarily started repairing potholes moved by a small mishap on a bad road,” she said.
Connect to Gulshan Bamboat here.