Junking the junk

A citizen-activist group clears the ground for conversation around conservation of the environment

Wall-E, the sci-fi flick directed by Andrew Stanton starred a robot that compressed junk on a litter-filled earth of the future with its citizens housed away in luxurious starships. The message is relevant even today with increasing reports of the marine and terrestrial ecosystem being affected by manmade wastes.

Coming as a ray of hope, environment activists are taking up cudgels against littering of plastic and other non-biodegradable wastes on the planet. A case in point is Delhi-based ThereIsNoEarthB, a group of volunteers who get together every Sunday to clean up areas in the city, as part of their unique awareness drive.

“We are a team of volunteers who believe that there is no other planet for us to destroy after we have destroyed this one. Because we have realised that directly approaching people (requesting them not to litter) is unlikely to work, we go with the Gandhian philosophy of indirectly influencing people by their observation skills working against their desire to litter. We don’t have a leader or founder. People who come for the drive are the real stakeholders,” says Dhrstadyumn, a member of ThereIsNoEarthB.

Speaking about the varied group comprising bankers, wildlife photographers and students, he says, there’s Rakesh Bhalla, a 65-year-old citizen activist who joins the group at the Connaught Place clean-up drive every Sunday, 6-year-old Adhiraj who is the youngest member, and Shruti, a teacher who also makes the posters. Volunteers come from as far as Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurugram.

Currently the group volunteers at Connaught Place and Deer Park, in Hauz Khas. The litter at Connaught Place is segregated and plastic is given for recycling while the rest of the waste is put in dust bins. “NIFT student’s team Bin There Do That is working on an installation with plastic wastes collected at the Deer Park,” Dhrstadyumn says. Volunteers also plant saplings during and participate in plantation drives.

“We plan to work in more areas. People are contacting us on Instagram.” Next up are Gurugram and Bengaluru, he says. “We welcome people joining us. We don’t accept donations. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm,” says Dhrstadyumn.

The next clean-up drive is on Sunday, April 7, at 8:30 a.m. at Deer Park and 5:30 p.m. at Gate No. 6, Rajiv Chowk, Connaught Place.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 2:34:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/junking-the-junk/article26744116.ece

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