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Kumbh & Shravanbelagola: How a 100-Year-Old Firm Keeps Temple Towns Clean!

“They are experts for such mega events. Keeping the place clean and tidy when VVIPs, religious leaders and lakhs of devotees attend the event is a big challenge.”

Occurring once every 12 years, the Mahamastakabhishekha held at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka sees lakhs of devotees visiting the temple town. One would imagine, given the sheer number of people who visit the town, it would be inundated with waste and overflowing garbage.

However, the reality is very different. The organisers have, in fact, hired the help of professional housekeeping staff who bring with them years of experience in managing large-scale religious events.

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These include the Kumbh Mela held in Allahabad and the Rann Utsav in Gujarat.

Lalloo Ji and Sons, established in 1920, is a century old Allahabad based company, that has taken on the entire responsibility for cleaning, lighting and other civil works at the event. More than 350 men and women, all from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have been hired for the task in Shravanabelagola.

The company has set up 13 temporary townships — Kashi Nagar, Kalasha Nagar, Panchakalyana Nagar, Police Nagar, Seva Nagar, Media Nagar, Yatri Nagar and others — and have deployed housekeeping staff at these townships, as reported in Times of India.

Almost 700 waste bins – each with a capacity of 100 litres – have been placed across the town. The staff collects the waste generated from the town and disposes of it in these larger bins.

Representational image
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Each of these 100-litre bins takes approximately three days to fill up. Once done the civic agency collects the waste from these bins, it is shifted to solid waste management units in trucks, which have been set up outside the town. The garbage will be later converted into manure.

Lalloo Ji and Sons managing partner Himanshu Agrawal says that they have hired housekeeping staff who have decades of experience working in Kumbh Melas. “They are experts for such mega events. Keeping the place clean and tidy when VVIPs, religious leaders and lakhs of devotees attend the event is a big challenge,” he said to the publication.

In a related story, we have written about Sandesh Gupta, Chief Municipal Officer (CMO) of Neemuch, a district that is 425 km north-west of Bhopal, who took it upon himself to get all the waste generated in temples collected and sent to his house.

There, Sandesh has dug two big pits with the help of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED). He mixes dry neem leaves into this mix, and it becomes fertiliser. Do read about that here.

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