Thursday, October 2, 2008

Laxman Jhula Divine Mega-Clean Up

Last Sunday we had a very successful public clean up event. We called it the Laxman Jhula Divine Mega-Clean Up Day. Our local reporter on the site (also the author of 99.9% of this blog) Ms. C Telfer, did a write up to submit to the English press here in India. The title is a response to the fact that there is a certain way of thinking where people

 here feel it is fine to throw plastic into the Ganges or generaly polute the local environment because "Ganga will take care of it.." or "God will take care of it.."  Hmm..:

Giving God a Helping Hand

Are you worried about how the Ganga is being desecrated and the environment destroyed by the unrestricted disposal of all kinds of waste direct into i

ts waters? Would you like to be part of the solution? Do you think it’s time to do something about this situation? Well, you are not alone.

As part of the global campaign ‘Clean up the World’, Clean Himalaya, a Rishikesh-based solid waste management NGO, organised their ‘Divine Mega Clean Up Day’ last Sunday.

The garbage on the banks of the Ganga in the Rishikesh area has reached crisis point. Not only does this disfigure this holy and beautiful place, but is a cause of pollution and disease. This has largely been caused by thoughtless and unrestricted dumping of household and business waste in the streets or directly down the slopes of the nearest ravine in thereby directly into the water.

Clean Himalaya addressed the practical issue of garbage removal on Sunday, from both the banks of the Ganga and the streets in the Laksmanjhula area. But more importantly, their main aim was to involve the local citizens and fire their enthusiasm to help protect and maintain the sanctity of their own area by keeping it clean. A variety of people took part - all volunteers. From the rafting companies who donated staff and rafts to clean sites that were inaccessible by any means other than from the Ganga itself, to the school children who gave up their free time to clear the beaches and streets. It was impossible not to be inspired.

Many people expressed their delight and support of the Clean Himalaya ‘Divine Mega Clean Up Day’ and also their regular waste management programme. Several companies did this in practical terms by signing up on the spot for Clean Himalaya’s daily garbage collections.

Clean Himalaya’s goals are to continue to expand its operation in the Ganga and Himalaya region, to develop public awareness of the importance of protecting the sacred environment and to provide an example of working together to serve the unity of all life and its future. No one is suggesting that one ‘Mega Clean Up Day’ will solve this huge problem, but in Rishikesh, at least it is a start. 

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