TATA Trust features Kashmiri youth as ‘Sanitation Warrior’

IUST pass-out Mir Anayatullah serves State Rural Sanitation development project

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SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 27: Management pass out from Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Mir Anayatullah has been featured as sanitation warrior among the four throughout India in the TATA Trusts issue.

Mir has been working with Directorate of Rural Sanitation Government of J&K as the consultant for the developmental project/ Scheme SBM-Gramin since March 2017.

After completing his MBA course from the IUST, he taught for three years at a local college before signing up as a prerak.

Initially deployed in Budgam in March 2017, Mir was transferred to Kargil in August to work towards making it the first ODF (open defecation free) district in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). During winters, temperatures dip to subzero levels in Kargil and the terrain is covered with snow. This posed some unusual challenges.

Mir had the support of village-level workers and a committed district panchayat officer to create awareness around core SBM objectives emphasising on health, hygiene and social problems related to open defecation. But this wasn’t getting desired results.

He sought the help of Roots, a local sustainable tourism enterprise that creates livelihoods through guided tours and homestays for tourists. Together, they convinced villagers that their unsanitary methods were demeaning to their guests, and reflected poorly on the Kashmiri culture and heritage.

Mir says he has learnt a lot about how government machinery works, and about subjects like rural sanitation and solid waste management.

He has shared his knowledge with other departments of the district administration. In December 2017, Mir, along with the other preraks in J&K, volunteered with the Chief Minister’s Office to suggest solid waste management solutions in Gulmarg. Anayat has received an offer of a manager’s job already by an IIT Roorkee based startup company “Next2Waste Solutions”

Anayat possess leadership qualities as he has been an elected student leader  ‘General Secretary’ of the lone students’ union of IUST; his work was recognised by the peers wherever he worked and was promoted from District consultant to state level consultant by his organisation TATA Trust. In February 2018, Anayat was deputed to the SBM’s Directorate Office J&K, and has been working as a ‘state prerak’ overseeing the Mission’s progress for J&K. While he misses ground-level action, Anayat is happy that this has brought him closer to his dream of being a change-maker for his state.  

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