In the blooming autumn like every beautiful place, my college too looked beautiful. More than anything I always have found there a linking to the past. It is a connection in itself! A teacher of mine who happens to be the student of the same college once told me of the importance, Government College for Women, M.A.Road holds in the history of women education. It is this institution that has removed the women folk from the damp of un-education and opened innumerable domains for their bright and developing future. I myself, over the course of three years have witnessed, how big a ray of hope it is to a majority of the students there who come from poor, un-educative and suppressive backgrounds. A chain indeed; the chain of hope, of opportunity and light this college has been.
After the flood, the fury was but still there. As I entered the college gate, I could see the destruction. The college is a result of evolution, patience and persistence, from the administration building to the new block, chronology of development can be traced. And before me lied a ruined picture. I walked through the chunks of wet mud, through dirt and dust only to find the destructed and deserted college, witnessing but a dirty autumn. The present situation of the robust college was such that I could hear my foot steps. The ancient building, where even the graduate grand-moms academic record can be traced was in cracks. The library that has been helping generations was nothing but mud. As I walked towards the ground, I found the sole lady with a broom; moving that to and fro. I couldn't conclude was she entertaining herself passing time or excersizng her arms! For, you can't claim cleaning the dry autumn leaves amidst chunks of dirt.
As I moved on, I found the 'Safai-Karamchari' group, almost a dozen of them. What they were doing? The furniture was on the path, probably to clean. There were some brooms and a water pipe, as thin as the index finger! From a distance I wondered, is this the work force and the labor to do the deeds of Godliness, I mean cleanliness. As I reached near, the mute movie turned audible; Pathetically audible! All I could hear was distress, anger and fumes. They were angry for they had the least means and resources to do the cleaning, they were only a few people to end the task, there was neither any management nor any facility. One amongst them shouted, "Flood devastated, now an earthquake should hit the college and its should collapse". May be a happy end to his problems!
As I visited the buildings in solitary, an inspecting officer in myself, I could trace no process of cleanliness. The Karamcharis had been to work for more than two weeks by then but the results manifested not the efforts of even two days. Since the posh staff room itself was inclusive in the destruction, the staff had decorated the chairs in the front garden of the college. Some amongst them were sitting there while others in their cars. The papers and documents from the administration block laid in heaps before the sun. The instruments of music department laid in melancholy before the sun, so laid the electronics of the Mass Com. department. Thus, what was earned, accumulated and adorned over decades laid there in messy indolence.
Necessarily, nothing was as much of waste and useless as it seemed. Like everything, it needed analysis, care and action and this was what exactly was missing. The words of the safai karamchari were again flashing in my mind, 'Collapse!'. Though much of the college physically stood intact but I could see its soul dying. The soul that happens to be a chain, across generations and ought to live across coming and present generations. One thing that I became sure about was the realization that of the "Swatch Abhiyaan" (cleanliness drive) of the college will in be the hands of such people, the college is bound never to restore. Their thinking, actions and work completely contrasts with their work. However to blame them completely will be a folly, may be things could have been a little different, had they been besotted with genuine requirements. Like we can't command a writer to write without a pen, we can't ask them to clean the place without what is necessary in the process.
Looking at such a condition of the college and pragmatically no classwork going on (no matter what seemingly stands manifested), I stopped my college activity to this one day inspection. A week from this, I had some work in the commercial hub of the city and as I passes by the college gate, I saw a number of men there and two, three buses too. A chain of hope I could see and it pulled me inside. I saw the mud chunks gone, I could feel walking on the smooth path, I saw cleanliness everywhere and these people around. I saw the whole staff with them, I saw the Safai Karamcharis all working in rhythm and reason in unison; I could see the result of the team work.
I asked one of my teachers about the happy happening and got the answer that beautified my vision moreover. I came to know that they were the members of Jamiat-e-Islami and had come to clean the college. Looking around made me happy. The chain is saved and is destined to leave a mark across generations. The college is saved and thus is saved the hope of a thousand heart...
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