Gilgit - Baltistan

Locals in Haji Gam village Skardu celebrate cleanliness day

By Zaheer Abbas

Cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of social as well as personal life. Therefore, campaigns around the globe are carried out for spreading the message of keeping the world clean.

There is a small village named Haji Gam, located within the far-off snowing mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan, which has arguably been maintaining the status of being the cleanest village of district Skardu, where people have not only realized the importance of spreading the message of keeping the community clean, but more importantly, the people have practically been involved in beautifying the village through taking initiatives of planning and mobilizing the community especially the youth to celebrate the annual cleanliness day at the end of spring season or in the beginning of summer season.

Planning for the cleanliness day starts a month earlier. Young and emerging leaders of the community take the first step by mobilizing the community to participate in the first meeting in Community Centre Haji Gam.

It is generally observed throughout the years that a few of the social activists of the village participate in the meeting. However, the committed youth of the village is led by a few senior social workers of the village and mobilize the community.

It is worth mentioning here that a light lunch is also planned for the people participating in the activity after collecting funds from the community members. Each member of the community shares money for organizing the event. In other words, the whole activity is funded by the community members.

The people of almost all ages ranging from children to aged adults work for the whole day in cleaning the village. The day starts with a proper plan; small groups of people start their work from different points which are allocated to them in the plan. By the end of the day, each group reaches to its destination, cleaning the areas through which they pass. A lunch is then served at the Community Centre Haji Gam.

After the lunch, a brief program is also organized where the notables of the community share their views and present a token of appreciation to the youth and other people participating in the activity. In the way, the message of keeping the city clean is spread by practically involving the people in city cleaning phenomenon.

With this activity, the youth of Haji Gam hopes that people will embrace the Quranic as well as Bible message about cleanliness: “Cleanliness is godliness in practical terms”.

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