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30 years and counting: Meet Odisha’s selfless ‘Swachhta Warrior’

30 years and counting: Meet Odisha’s selfless ‘Swachhta Warrior’ thumbnail

We all know that ‘work is worship’. And Rama Khara from Kolab nagar in Koraput district has become the epitome of selfless service by tirelessly working to keep the locality clean for the past 30 years. Rama is now 55 years old and there has not been a single day that she has missed her duty to clean up the locality.

Notably, nobody has appointed Rama for the sanitation job nor she is getting any salary. Every evening when people leave for their homes, Rama steps out of her house.

Though she doesn’t have any strength left due to her growing age, it has not deterred Rama from continuing with her ‘Swachhta Mission’.

“After 9 pm, Rama starts cleaning the roads. She has been working hard for maintaining sanitation,” said Bishnu Charan Sethi, a local resident.

With her trembling hands, Rama makes sure that the entire stretch of road and in front of the shops from Kolab Nagar main road to Post Office Chhak is cleaned up before dawn breaks.

“Every day, I complete the job of sweeping the road and lifting garbage from in front of the shops by 3 am. The local residents offer me food and other articles,” said Rama.

For the local residents, Rama Khara is now Rama Ayaa. Without her, nobody can even think of maintaining all round sanitation. She has now turned an inspiration for the young generation and is a true Swachhta champion for many.

Rama doesn’t demand money from anyone for keeping the entire surrounding clean, from roads to the open spaces in front of the shops. She survives on the food and other articles donated by the local residents on a daily basis.

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“By 6 am she completes her job and also provides water to every shop in the locality. She voluntarily cleans up the locality. We have been watching her doing the sanitation job since my childhood,” said Ujwal Kar, a shop owner.

Rama is also content with her dedicated service to the society as after all it is everybody’s responsibility to keep our surroundings clean.

(Reported by Suryanarayan Panda)

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