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| Last Updated:: 06/04/2015

Irishman doing his swachh mission in Jodhpur

 JODHPUR: Unlike other tourists, who visit Jodhpur for its historic value, 70-year-old Caron Pierre is a rare case. This Irish tourist is here for a "clean" cause. And as usual, he has become the butt of ridicule for the locals.


"Pagal saab", as the locals refer to him, has fallen in love with the wonderful stepwells of the city and has taken up the task of cleaning up the 'Mahila Bagh Jhalra'. "When I saw the structure and it's state of neglect, I decided to clear the muck," said Caron.


For the past two weeks, he regularly comes in around 8.30am and spends 5 to 7 hours cleaning the jhalra. He uses two buckets to carry the filth. He does it all by himself. "What surprises me is that neither the government nor the local administration seem to be concerned about the upkeep of this marvellous heritage, which once addressed the water needs of the city in this desert town," he %deplored.


Though some help has surely trickled in. Kirti Bhati, a sinologist from a nearby hospital, has not only endorsed his mission and passion but has also provided him with two buckets and a rake. "I have deep respect for him as he has been doing what we are supposed to do since this heritage belongs to us," said Bhati.


She has also spoken to a couple of NGOs and other persons to transform Caron's initiative into a drive but to her dismay, no one has shown any support. A local, who is a habitual drunkard, has agreed to help him in return for some money but he is not regular.


"I wished some youths or even those who are in the hospitality business should join me in restoring this structure back to its glory, but instead, I am "pagal saab" to most," said Caron with a smirk.


Meanwhile, a Jodhpur-based hydro geologist Shiv Singh Rathore, has discovered tremendous potential for 'Hydro-geo tourism', a term coined by him, in the city. "There are a number of such structures in the city which are not only architectural masterpieces but are also engineering marvels of their times aimed at addressing water scarcity in the region. If they are restored and promoted, we can have more tourist inflow in Jodhpur," Rathore said, adding that he has sent a proposal to the state government