Wearing jute rags and a hood, he walked around Chowpatty collecting garbage. His band of followers, carrying huge garbage bags, accompanied him on every expedition. Captain Kachra and his army, all students of Wilson College, conducted a week-long cleanliness campaign as part of their media planning project.
The group of five third year Bachelors of Mass Media (TY BMM) students took their project beyond their college walls and launched a public awareness drive on cleanliness.
The ‘Captain Kachra army’ comprising Silika Pinto, Nehal Tiwari, Nisha Thomas, Royston Miranda and Pallavi Ramesh genuinely feel for the cause of keeping Mumbai clean.
“We felt that we need to start somewhere to keep this city clean and decided to use this project as our battleground,” said Ramesh.
For the past week, the group conducted a series of activities in and around college on the issue. An activity called Candid Camera, where Captain Kachra would pop up from nowhere and tell students about ways to keep the city clean, got quite popular on campus
“I want to make everyone aware that it is our city and we need to keep it clean,” said Captain Kachra, whose identity still remains a mystery. “But, I cannot do this alone and so I need everyone to be a part of the army.”
From making 40 paper bags and distributing them in college to doing a street play on cleanliness at Girgaum beach on Saturday, the team of five have come up different ways to spread their message. They have even uploaded a video on the birth of Captain Kachra was uploaded on youtube and designed teasers and banners.
Captain Kachra has now become the official mascot for cleanliness drives for the rest of the academic year.
“It felt good to clean the area and also convey a message to the onlookers that if we want to change we need to begin with changing ourselves,” said Tiwari. The BMM faculty felt that the student’s campaign had gone beyond the project and achieved its own identity. “It is good to see that the students have learned to supplement their campaign with on-ground activities,” said Sudhakar Solomonraj, the BMM coordinator. “These students really feel for the cause and it is a good initiative.”
With a friend list of more than 200 friends on Facebook and an on-ground army of 40 students, Captain Kachra is not a one-off college project but an initiative that will gain more and more momentum.