KARNATAKA

Citizens pitch for litter-free street

Members of Movement for Clean, Beautiful Valencia staging a street play to create awareness on public hygiene in Mangalore on Thursday.– Photo: R. Eswarraj

Members of Movement for Clean, Beautiful Valencia staging a street play to create awareness on public hygiene in Mangalore on Thursday.– Photo: R. Eswarraj  

People's forum in Valencia launches awareness campaign against garbage-dumping

Move over kolaveri di – it is time for the solle (mosquito) dance. And with garbage accumulating in all corners of the city, this dance may also go viral, albeit in a different way.

The set up: Five figures in black eagerly wait for citizens to throw refuse. Home-makers, bike riders and other residents unabashedly dump garbage. One even wonders out loud: “It’s already dirty, what harm will one more bag do?”

At this, the five figures rejoice and encourage the littering. “Put more bags,” they scream, “for now we (mosquitoes and other disease causing pests) are one, then we become two, four, eight, hundred, thousand, lakh and then a crore.”

The five black figures then proceed to break out into the solle dance, taunting those gathered: “All the solle fans, don’t miss out on this chance…do the solle dance…”.

This is the crux of the street play, launched at Nandigudda circle on Thursday, under “Movement for Clean, Beautiful Valencia”, which aims to educate the public on cleanliness.

The play, conceived by a 13-member Kalakul repertoire, goes on to show the spread of dengue and other diseases because of trashing, and urged the public to nip their littering habit in the bud.

“We wanted to deal with people’s apathy and let them know that they are the cause of the problem,” said Arun Raj, who provided the script.

Model ward

The idea for the movement germinated in April, when Parish Priest B. Nazareth of Valencia Church was struck by the garbage around the area.

“We wanted to clean this up and make Valencia a model for the city,” he said, adding that their initiative had already gathered interest from other associations in the city.

In the past six months, the movement has gathered steam, with numerous convents, churches, and other organisations extending their support to the activities of the campaign.

“The first meeting had about 70 people participating. We wanted to mobilise the youth. There is a realisation that people have a bigger role to play, and should collaborate with the MCC [Mangalore City Corporation] to clean the area,” Mr. Nazareth said.

Public apathy

Corporators Jacintha Alfred and Asha D’Silva believed that lack of cooperation from citizens was the biggest hurdle for the door-to-door garbage collection programme of the MCC. “People need to segregate garbage and hand it to a worker. While some do it, others prefer to throw garbage on the streets,” said Ms. D’Silva, adding that the plays were a step in the right direction.

On Thursday, the troupe also covered Gerosa School, Jeppu Majila and Valencia circle. The street plays will continue on Friday and Saturday evening, covering all five wards in Valencia.

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