This project turned out to be a great success and was recognised by the Prime minister’s ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan’ as the second largest cleanliness drive in the nation.
On February 1st, 2013, the ‘I love Jaisalmer’ team, along with a few passionate volunteers, set out to clean up the legendary Jaisalmer Fort. During the 25-day program, the volunteering team cleaned the fort premises, the ramparts, boundary walls and the hillock of the fort, which had fallen into a desperate state of neglect.
The organisation launched “Sunday For Sonar” for six consecutive Sundays where 60-300 people got together and cleaned previously inaccessible areas of the fort. We were able to gather help from the Army, Airforce, Jaisalmer Police, Teachers Association and the Local Shop Association.
During the campaign the team cleaned 4,50,000 sq. ft. of slope area of the trikutta (triangular) hill on which the fort proudly stands, as well as 1,80,000 sq. ft. of ramparts, which were used for decades as garbage community bins, rendering them inaccessible to tourists and residents alike.
80% of the streets and common areas of the fort were cleaned within 6 weeks. During the clean-out, the team recovered and restored rocks and structures as old as 600 years.
The project was carried out continuously for the next 4 months and then was handed over to KPS, a self-motivated group of youngsters who came forward and expressed their desire to maintain the cleanliness within the fort.
Gadisagar Lake is one of the oldest manmade water structures in the area and a major tourist attraction. The lake was full of catfish and garbage, so we initiated a cleanliness and maintenance program.
We planted trees along the periphery of the lake, made public toilets accessible and cleaned the catchment area. This project gathered immense support from the locals as well as the media. We maintained the space for over 1.5 years and then it was handed over to the local authorities.
We also prepared reports for the relevant government departments regarding drainage plans and repairing of ancient structures in and around this area.
The heritage route, a centuries old walkabout within the fort complex and the city market, was also involved in the clean up operation after the fort. We took up the task of cleaning the route and maintained cleanliness everyday for many months after which it was handed over to the shop owners association and local representatives to maintain.
We also launched a public private venture with the municipal authorities for door-to-door garbage collection from restaurants and hotels. 250 dustbins were also installed at various spots and we introduced nighttime cleaning services to maintain achieved levels of cleanliness.
The Government Hospital at Jaisalmer was also in an appalling condition, neglected and filthy. The ILJ team cleaned terraces which used to leak, repaired toilets, organised blood donation camps, donated wheel chairs, stretchers and other necessary medical equipment. We also prepared a special I Love Jaisalmer ward for the hospital.
We continued to maintain the cleanliness at the hospital for 1.5 years and then the responsibility was handed over to the local authorities.
We undertook a project to clean the road to the city of Jaisalmer on February 3rd, 2013. Jaisalmer is a heavily trafficked tourist destination and the roads leading to it were in an appalling state of mismanagement. We commenced work on the clean up project and the operation was a great success for that time. However, in the longer run it came to a halt due to scarcity of resources.