Today I organised the Phase 1 of the Clean Manipal Campaign at the End Point in Manipal along Siddharth and Soumen. I and a group of 13 other volunteers met at the China Valley and had a little discussion about how we would like to start off this mini Pilot project and let it take off. I provided the volunteers who grouped themselves in twos and threes, a survey sheet that had questions that we wanted to ask the general public and get a feedback about the ways they use to keep their homes and surroundings clean and a garbage bag to pick the plastic lying around. We were motivated by our own volunteers, who showed a lot of enthusiasm and came up with so many ideas. Even in the public, we have found some very responsible people who not only follow but also encourage others to follow and on the other hand we also found youth that were very irresponsible and did not follow our advice of throwing the empty plastic bottles in the dustbins. Some of the people talked to the volunteers (us) for quite some time and congratulated and thanked them for doing this for a better society. There was a lot of discussion about ways to implement this campaign successdully in all parts of Manipal. Some of the senior faculty who came to End Point today for jogging gave us the suggestion to ask the shopkeepers to charge for the plastic bags that they provide the customers. If plastic is made costly, then people would get their own carry bags and that would save a lot of polythene and prevent non-biodegradable substance from entering our environment.
We had a lot of positive reviews and feedback from the warm people who came to End point for a stroll or for spending time with nature. It is saddening though, to see that youth are the major polluters of this beauty spot. We ourselves are not serious about our surroundings and therefore the need for such campaigns. A foreigner has given us a great advice saying there are not many sign boards asking people not to litter around and that in his native country there were not only sign boards which asked people not to litter but also dustbins at very regular distances on the sidewalks of the roads, where people could throw the trash into. If we can spend huge amounts of public money for building satellites then why not use some for sanitation too. Our surroundings define the way we present our country, so take care of your surroundings and when you have the energy to walk a few meters to reach a dustbin, please do, this is a service you are doing to keep the country clean. Act responsibly, be better citizens.
I thank all the volunteers who have turned up for the drive:
Anudeep Kaur Jassal
Poonam P K
I thank Savita Ma’am for the support and encouragement she gave us and the confidence she instilled in me to go ahead with the campaign.