Monday, October 06, 2014

How an IAS picked up a broom 20 years ago; …and then sweepers called off a strike!

Narendra Modi-led cleanliness drive might have forced top-ranked babus to come out of their AC rooms and joined in Swachh Bharat mission, but this new-found trend on cleanliness in office premises has brought an IAS officer from UP, Dr Ajai Shankar Pandey, into national limelight. After all, this 52-year-old IAS officer has been cleaning his office himself for two decades now, but no one paid attention to this. Pandey now says…
cleanliness and sanitation should be a habit, (and not be a one-off act for photo ops!) “It should be a daily ritual,” Pandey was quoted as saying in a report published in The Hindu.
Other newspapers too have also written articles about this so called "unusual officer". The photo of the placard hung outside his office was published in national dailies. It reads: “Is kamre ki safai swayam mere dwara ki jaati hai, kripya isey unavashyak roop se ganda kar mere kaam ke bojh ko na badaye. (This room is cleaned by me. Kindly do not add to my work load by making it dirty)
It was in 1994. Pandey was an SDM in UP’s Etmadpur when he surprised many by cleaning his room himself. It was during that time, sweepers went on a strike. The residents of the town began to complain about the garbage found all around. Pandey realised he could no way arrange sweepers for the basic cleaning work. Pandey then picked up the broom himself and started sweeping the town. The other residents joined him. The town turned clean again in just a few days' time.
Those who were shocked most by this unusual phenomenon were the sweepers themselves. They immediately called off their strike!
Pandey was a history graduate from Allahabad University. He served as municipal commissioner of Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur and Kanpur.


  1. i wish this officer is posted on deputation to chennai corporation so that he is able to make the citizens feel their responsibility particularly west mambalam the place in which even close relations of chairman is living!!!!!

  2. I happened to frequently travel to Ghaziabad when he was Municipal Comm Ghaziabad and have seen changes that he brings in. He brings in lot of innovation (in doing small things capable of making bigger change) with lot of honesty & integrity. The attribute he possess are rarely found in Government officers.