Gandhi Jayanti in 2019 marked the beginning of a new trend in Pune, to fight against single-use plastic.
‘Pune Ploggers’, which was founded by Vivek Gurav, a software engineer from Pune, is an initiative that involves weekend plogging (a combination of jogging while picking up litter) drives. More than 50 volunteers from different parts of the city joined Vivek.
Fitness and cleanliness go hand in hand, and the trending plogging initiative has been mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat and has also received attention from environmentalists in the city.
The group conducted a plogging run in one of the main areas in Pune, JM Road and completed a drive for 2 Kms. The activity is being held every weekend. The campaign continues with awareness sessions, about single-use plastic in the city via PMPML Buses. Volunteers covered 50 buses last weekend, giving short awareness talks to stop the use of plastic. They also talked about waste management and were able to reach out to more than 10,000 citizens in the last few weeks.
Reaching out to a larger mob will help the team to sensitise people about the issue, and bring about a significant change in the attitude of citizens.
The founder of Pune Ploggers, Vivek Gurav says,
“Recent floods in Pune were studied, and we observed that blocked drainages due to plastic bottles and plastic garbage added to the issue due to heavy rains allowing the floodwater to flow in residential areas. We are trying to address this issue, and such campaigns will be conducted every weekend. We request citizens to join us in this mega mission to fight the plastic menace”.
Vivek himself has undertaken a 30-Day plogging challenge, along with his friends, and the city is on a roll, actively participating in this challenge to achieve fitness and hygiene goals with an environmentalist mindset.
The activity was praised by PMC officials, and the volunteers were felicitated for active participation in the Swachh Pune Initiative, by the Joint Commissioner and Head of PMC’s Solid Waste Management, Dnyaneshwar Molak.
Vivek Gurav has represented India at the MYWorld2030 Asia-Pacific Advocacy Programme, which is an initiative led by UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, and United Nations SDG Action Campaign. He has reached out to people creating awareness about Climate Action, and Sustainable Development Goals, and appealed to them, to submit the MyWorld Survey being conducted by the UN.
He was awarded the REX Karmaveer Chakra Award 2019, and the Indian Youth Award 2019, for his active contributions to different social issues.
This initiative, which started with Vivek as an individual, is slowly turning into a movement with citizens from different areas joining the cause.
If you’re around Pune, do join him and plog!
Reports suggest that “Emissions from plastics production and incineration could account to 56 gigatons of carbon between now and 2050.”That’s 56 billion tons or almost 50 times the annual emissions of all of the coal power plants in the U.S.”
It’s high time we addressed the seriousness of this issue, and people like Vivek Gurav and his team, are leading the way in creating awareness on the harmful environmental effects of plastic.
If you know of other people or communities doing their bit to curb carbon emissions, share the story on #ZeroSeHero!