Smart, handsome, trendy and well educated turn as voluntary garbage collectors

Author(s): City Air NewsRamchandra Reddy a 94 years old senior most participant of Rotathon a 5k walk seen appriciating The green Nest Volunteers. Hyderabad: What do you expect youth of well to do families, good educational background...

Smart, handsome, trendy and well educated turn as voluntary garbage collectors

Ramchandra Reddy a 94 years old senior most participant of Rotathon a 5k walk seen appriciating The green Nest Volunteers.

Hyderabad: What do you expect youth of well to do families, good educational background like Engineering, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Medicine, Architecture etc to do in their spare time?
With so many cool gadgets and gizmos available around them, what do you expect them to do?.
Sporting the most favorite designer brand clothes, watches, trendy two wheelers and cars what do you expect them to keep themselves busy?
You expect them to show their status, flash their latest and proud possessions of electronic gadgets, mobiles, Tablets, get engaged day in and day out on social media, keep talking endlessly about their favorite automobile, movie, fashion garments, food, technology, personality, youthfulness and what have you!!!
You expect them to live several lives at the same time.

Surprisingly and for a change, you don’t find these youth doing any of the above. So what are they doing? They are volunteering for what most of us hate to do, garbage collection!!! They volunteer to pickup waste, collect trash, dirt, refuse from event area, clean up the place, keep it clean and tidy. All with a mission to keep city clean and tidy

Many young, good looking boys and girls approximately 30 in number were found with gloves and black garbage pickup bags in their hands. Busy collecting garbage at recently at Rotathon, a 5km run organised by Rotary Clubs of Hyderabad Region at People’s Plaza, Necklace Road.

They are the green volunteers, warriors from The Green Nest, a student NGO.

These include: Sri Lakshmi, a Denists, who works with Smile Solutions Dental Clinic; Medical student Manisha, a Physiotherapist who provides Cardiac Care, Ms. Lovely another Physiotherapist who works with Apollo, Madhusudhan of Softsol, Sriram, Kshamitha, a B.Tech 3rd year students with Narayanamma college, her brother Rupesh, Nikhil, Chandra Lekha, Bharani Reddy, Guna Shekhar and others all Engineering students.

Cleanliness is close to the godliness. Hundreds of people gather at events, where they tend to litter the place, throw papers and make the place very untidy. 31 Rotary Clubs of Hyderabad Region who have conducted Rotathon, a 5 kms walk to create about literacy to achieve 100% Literacy in India, have roped in these volunteers. We have been using them and their voluntary services for the last three years for our Rotathon Events, said Kamal Jain, a member of Rotary Clubs International.

When my brother Rupesh told me about this cause, I jumped at it, says Kshamitha. Only when you involve, you will know how important is keeping your own place or public place clean. We have started this NGO much before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Swachh Bharath moment informed Nikhil.

In this modern era, everything in life is an event. Be it a Birthday, Saree Wearing Ceremony, Political Entry, Jain Release, Retirement, everything is an event. Even in corporate world so many events keep happening. Events bring people together. So the chance of getting place more dirty. So we work with special events like Rotathon to help them in waste management said Chandralekha and Bharani Reddy, both B.Tech students. After the end of the events we see lot of leaflets, tissue papers, disposal glasses, pet bottles, Tetra packs seen thrown everywhere. This is where we get into. We collect all that waste and put them into a dustbin so as to keep the event clean, green and tidy, informed Sri Lakshmi.

Events and festivals around the world create enormous amounts of waste. Some festival and event organizers are beginning to green their events to minimize their impact to the environment said Ms. Lovely. We are playing our bit, she said.

Manisha adds that especially where Walks/Runs are conducted at Public Places, Parks the waste and debris removal becomes very important.

The constant cleaning-up of the place and removal of garbage and debris and to restore the park, roadway to its original condition so the road can be re-opened to traffic or public. We don’t charge event organizers. We don’t get involved in any commercial events. We volunteer our time for the social events and events that promote a cause. We work for those events which are organized to promote society's interest at large, Madhusudhan, who works with SoftSol, an IT company informed.

Their support is very crucial especially when event management companies are talking about Zero Waste Events, where event organizers have to plan ahead of their event to reduce waste from the event, reuse various elements such as banners etc informed Viiveck Verma, Chairman of Rotathon.

Nobody realized how much litter is generated by these events observed the volunteers.

Governments spend lot of money to clean up littered roadways, parks, gallies, mohallas. An estimate of the urban development ministry in 2009 had put the cost for doing this at about Rs.48,582 crore. What it could be now in 2015 is anybody’s guess. In the words of Prime Minister Modi, India loses an average of Rs. 6500 per person due to lack of cleanliness and hygiene based on figures provided by the World Health Organisation. As Per reports by the U.N., India suffers losses to the tune of $54 billion per year as a result of the toilet/latrine shortage. India’s cleaning equipment and waste management is a big industry. It is valued today at Rs 4,500 .

"Municipalities can discourage littering through a variety of methods, one of which is to create and enforce criminal cases and penalties that punish unwanted littering, observed Vinod Ranka and Pradeep both members of Rotary.

Another dimension to these events is the meetings, which are held in hotels as well as open places. They can also have impact to the environment.

ITC Hotels has done some work in creating awareness about the Green Banqueting, green meetings. When the whole world is talking about green initiatives, how can Banqueting be left behind?

Banquets turn business and celebrations into fun, inclusive events, where people come together to interact, work with one another, share ideas and rejoice. ITC Hotels invites its guests to take on the mantle of responsibility. With Green Banqueting Design, it addresses the issue of waste at events and work with guests on saving energy and minimizing the use of unnecessary material etc.. To this extent it hangs couple of boards on the walls of the banquet area in the city.

Some of the green banqueting initiative, suggestions it offers to its clients include
e- invites: e- invitations are suggested instead of paper invites. Same can be put up on the website of the organizers, if some people delete the e- invite, they can always go back to the website to check the invitation.

Conference material Use of green conference material such as recycled paper, Good on one Side (GOOS) paper for printing and photocopying and Wood Free/Polymer/Plastic Pencils for writing are suggested

Name Tags: Name tags without being covered in plastics must be developed. Participants should be requested to return the tags at the end of the conference so that they can be recycled, thereby reducing waste and material.

Mementos: Giveaways if any need to be given to participants then think of organic gift/s – an innovative green gift idea.

Carpooling needs to be encouraged for the runs, walks.

Choose a venue that has an explicit environmental policy and green strategy
We must encourage event industry to set eco friends zero waste event rental equipment.

Events could be fun only if when we minimize impact on the nature. The responsibility lies in each of us to help mother nature green. The efforts of the these youth volunteers are laudable. Let us hope that their tribe increases. Also the credit goes to Rotary for encouraging such initiatives.

Friday, March 4, 2016