Pratik Kolte, 20, a second year student from Chandraban College, Powai, spent Sunday morning cleaning the ghats near Powai lake, post Ganpati visarjans on Saturday.
Kolte along with 300 other classmates segregated around 40 bags of biodegradable waste comprising garlands and coconut shells and put them in a vermi-compost pit at Powai to procure organic fertilizer.
“Even in the morning, many devotees were asleep waiting for their Ganesh to be immersed making the cleaning process difficult. There should some kind of a restriction for the size of the idols to save time. It is impossible for the officials to get rid of all the waste without help,” said Kolte.
Like Kotle, a number of college and schools students from across the city voluntarily helped the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials to clean the garbage on Sunday morning,
Almost 200 students from the Rotaract Club of Narsee Monjee College, Vile Parle, conducted a clean-up drive at the Juhu Beach.
While the remains of the idol were immersed in the sea, all the waste such as plastic and flowers was collected and handed over to the BMC.
The students collected more than 250 kg of garbage during the clean-up drive that lasted for almost four hours.
On Saturday, five MBA aspirants spread awareness about waste segregation to devotees during the visarjan at Band Stand, Bandra. About 25 groups of devotess were present there, each carrying a Ganesh idol. Each group was asked to collect waste in different bags that was provided by these students.
“I think we are responsible for our well-being and that of the city. This is why we should start small and be the change we want to bring about,” said Manu Singh, one of the students.
Singh and his friends also collaborated with the BMC to ensure that all the collected waste was transported to a composting pit at Bandra Reclamation.
Their effort is part of a larger initiative to make the H-west ward in Bandra a model for effective solid waste management.
Students were also part of similar clean-up drives after the 1 and half day and five day visarjans.
What started as a media planning project against littering for seven mass media students of RD National College at Bandra culminated into a clean–up drive at the Juhu Beach involving more than 200 students from different sections of the college.
In less than an hour, students managed to fill 300 garbage bags after which the BMC provided them with larger bags to continue the process.
”The garlands were like a carpet on the beach. Though we managed to clear up only a small section of the garbage, it was satisfying to see other voluntary groups continuing the work,” said Moin Shaikh, a student.