Mangaluru

Swachhata Yodharu ensure litter-free streets

Volunteers of Swachhata Yodharu keeping vigil at a cleaned black spot to discourage people from littering it further.

Volunteers of Swachhata Yodharu keeping vigil at a cleaned black spot to discourage people from littering it further.  

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Volunteers of the group monitor cleaned black spots round the clock

As he enters home close to midnight, Naresh [name changed] gets a call on his cellphone with the caller asking him if he stays in so and so locality. When he answers affirmatively, the caller tells him politely: “Will you please take back the trash thrown by you [at a particular location]?” An embarrassed Naresh profusely apologises and rushes back to recover the trash.

It was routine for a fast-food joint operator to dump the days’ waste at a particular location after midnight. One night, he was caught red-handed and asked to take back the trash.

These are a few examples of how Swachhata Yodharu, a group of about 85 volunteers, is working post the Swachh Mangaluru drive. Volunteers take turns to keep a watch on cleaned black spots to catch those throwing garbage and make them feel guilty for what they are doing.

Mangaluru Ramakrishna Mission’s cleanliness drive that is on for the fifth year has been able to bring in cleanliness awareness among people to a large extent. Yet, for those with the ‘old habits never die’ attitude, these warriors are teaching advanced lessons.

Several black spots

Quoting Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) officials, Swami Ekagamyananda, coordinator of Swachh Mangaluru Abhiyan, said the city has about 900 locations where trash bins were kept before door-to-door garbage collection was introduced. Though the bins were removed after introduction of garbage collection system, about 300 locations remained black spots. During the abhiyan, the mission could eliminate about 140 such spots and now aims to make the city road flanks trash-free by this year-end.

Despite cleaning black spots and keeping flower pots to dissuade further littering, a few people continued the old habit for which volunteers formed the group. Through a WhatsApp group, they keep in touch and monitor the places round the clock. The offender leaves behind some evidence in the trash so as to trace him and volunteers interact with him to change the attitude, the seer said.

“When the first black spot was cleared and beautified at Mulihithlu, the residents laughed at us while they continued to throw garbage. We asked the MCC not to lift garbage for a week. The whole area began to stink and people had to walk on trash. Only then did they realise the importance of cleanliness,” he said about the first experience.

Jagan Kodikal, Puneeth and Sudhir Naronha lead the group.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 7:11:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/swachhata-yodharu-ensure-litter-free-streets/article28067739.ece

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