Take what you throw: Mangaluru volunteers ‘return’ garbage to residents

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on September 26, 2019

Volunteers participating in a cleanliness programme organised by the Ramakrishna Mission in Mangaluru (file photo)   -  Supplied

Ramakrishna Mission takes up cleanliness with missionary zeal

Piling waste at public places poses a challenge in most cities. The Ramakrishna Mission in Mangaluru, which has been carrying out a Swachhata Abhiyan (cleanliness drive) for the past five years, is now ‘giving it back’ to society.

Swami Ekagamyananda, Convener of the Ramakrishna Mission Swachhata Abhiyan, said concrete bins were removed from the roads after the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) started door-to-door collection of waste a few years ago. With no bins around, people took to littering the streets.

Around 300 such ‘black spots’ were identified. Ramakrishna Mission’s team of volunteers took it upon themselves to rid the city of such black spots.

Continuous vigil

After advising the locals not to throw garbage on the streets, they also began to keep a continuous vigil around the black spots. They then tracked the garbage throwers to their homes and promptly returned the waste to them at their doorsteps, with a request to hand it over to the MCC’s waste collection vehicles.

The initiative proved effective in more than 90 per cent of the cases, said Ekagamyananda. The number of black spots has now dwindled, he said, adding that the mission is still on.

The volunteers have also set up parks in some of the former black spots, while others have been beautified with flower pots.

During their interactions with the public, the volunteers realised there is much ignorance around waste disposal. They are now popularising the concept of pot composting.

Pot compost workshops

Ekagamyananda said 221 demonstration workshops have been conducted across the city. People are asked to segregate domestic waste and manage wet waste through pot composting. Around 15,000 people have attended the workshops, and around 5,000 have registered their names for pots. Around 2,000 pots have been distributed.

Published on September 26, 2019

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