A clean act: Youngsters give a new lease of life to these Delhi walls
One fine Sunday, the residents of Rohini woke up to the sight of some walls getting rid of garbage and getting a splash of bright colours at the hands of 40 youngsters! The walls in the area around Sai Baba temple in Rohini had mounds of garbage lining the dilapidated walls, for the longest time. “The place, in spite of being frequented by so many people, had been a mess for years. The walls were stained and an eyesore. So we decided to have our weekly cleanliness drive in Rohini,” says Shankar Singh, a 23-year-old software engineer, and founder of the NGO Vrikshit Foundation, which lead the group that gave a makeover to this nook.
Environment conscious youngsters had gathered from around the city to take up this task. Lakshita Gupta, a Sanskrit (Hons) student at Miranda House college, Delhi University, says, “At the drive, we were provided with all the equipments like gloves and masks. It took us 15 hours to clean up and paint the whole place, but to see people click selfies there once we were done, was worth it!”
“For the clean up, I travelled on my bicycle from Greater Noida upto Rohini,” says Bichitrananda Rout, another member of the group, adding, “I believe our environment can only be changed by individuals who implement a conscious and responsible behaviour.”
And Rohini residents are ecstatic at the revamp, and express enthusiasm to maintain their surroundings henceforth. “These kids have executed what the local bodies couldn’t. We have been filing complaints for five years now, but to no avail. We are extremely proud and thankful for what these kids have done for us,” says Umesh Gugarwaal, a resident in the neighbouring locality.
But this isn’t the first place that these young volunteers have worked upon to sanitise and beautify surroundings in the Capital. Singh adds, “I started the NGO after being inspired by cleanliness drives conducted on Mumbai’s beaches... We run cleanliness drives across the city because we want to send a message that this is as much our responsibility as it is of the government. It is a collective responsibility and we also inform the locals about our efforts so that they feel involved in the upkeep of the place. So far we have cleaned over 200 locations in the country, and the activities are funded from our salaries and pocket money.”
Author tweets @bhagat_mallika