by Tahir Bhat


In visitor-scarce Kashmir, two Germans broke the trend, only to end up sweeping Srinagar Streets! The two boys scheduled to stay for a week spared four days to clean parts of foreshore as they couldn’t imagine such a breathtaking beauty is left so unclean.

German Duo Neil Assmaun, 19, and Tjark, 19, Sweep Srinagar Streets. KL Image by Umar Khurshid

On January, 5, when two friends from Germany arrived Kashmir to enjoy the valley’s beautiful nature and landscape, they had never thought that they would end up by collecting garbage from the streets of Srinagar.

From last 20 hours, the two friends Neil Assmaun, 19, and Tjark, 19, from Berlin Germany, are collecting garbage in Srinagar Kashmir in order to keep the city clean. They believe that places like Kashmir have a natural beauty and one should maintain its charm by keeping it neat and clean.

A month earlier, after Neil and Tjark finished their schooling in Berlin Germany, they choose to go outside country for the holidays. However, Kashmir was the first place they planned to visit.

German Duo Sweep Srinagar Streets. KL Image by Umar Khurshid

In the afternoon of January 5, when both the friends arrived at Srinagar airport, they boarded the cab till boulevard and spent the night in a houseboat. Next day, when they went to tour outside, the heaps of garbage lying on the roads disappointed them. “We were disheartened to see the garbage on the streets,” said one of the two friends Tjark.

Three days later, the duo planned to collect the garbage but the question was how they will manage to travel without knowing the places. On January 8, the duo bought two pairs of hand gloves and big sized polythene bags to collect the trash. “Till now we have collected lots of garbage,” said Neil. “As soon as bags get full we unload it in dustbins.”

The duo dedicated their holidays to pick the trash from the streets of Srinagar. “We will be going for mountain hiking later on,” said Tjark, indicating towards a local man Nazir Ahmed, a houseboat employee who assisted them towards the city. The duo is spending their next few days in Kashmir and they will be flying back to their place.

Neil said the place where they live is neat and clean. “The garbage on the roads puts a bad impression on the people especially on tourists,” he said.  “The tourists would judge you by looking at the hygiene of the area you live in.” He said the sole reason to clean the streets is to make the city garbage-free. It should also give and message of keeping the surroundings neat and clean. “The unhygienic environment affects one’s health if the surroundings are not cleaned,” said Neil.

They said the drive should also encourage the youth of Kashmir to keep the valley garbage free.


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