In the run-up to the World Environment Day on 5th June 2018, the Swedish High Commission of India organised the World Environment Day Plogg along with Ploggers of India’s Ripu Daman on 1st June 2018 at India Gate’s Children’s Park.
The event or Plogg was used to highlight the World Environment Day’s mission of “Beating Plastic” as well as contribute to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
The event was attended by officials from the United Nations Environment and diplomats from the Embassy’s of Belgium, Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic (who represented the European Union), it further had diplomats from the Canadian High Commision and the Embassy of the United States of America as well as runners from the Swedish MNC, Ericsson. The drive was also attended by children from the Shri Ram School, Aravalli and many other volunteers who wanted to attend the Plogg.
The drive had over 50 participants who made their way across the grounds of India Gate for 30 minutes in an effort to clean up as much as possible, by the end there were over 50 bags filled with trash (the bags were all biodegradable) and each participant was proud of the effort they put in.
The Swedish Ambassador to India, Klas Molin along with Ms. Emma of the Swedish High Commission to India, told Iamrenew how they noticed a growing trend of plogging amongst Indians in various cities and decided to get in touch with Ripu to organise this drive as plogging is essentially a Swedish concept. When asked if this was the first amongst many events to be organised, they responded that they haven’t yet set up a formal system for such events but are definitely open to the idea and would love to hold another drive like this one as the result was overwhelmingly positive.
Ripu Daman, expanded on how he feels plogging could solve the country’s growing trash problem and how it can supersede the label of being “just a trend” and instead become a lifestyle.
“If one tries to plogg everyday even if it’s for a little while no matter what time of the day it is, it’ll become second nature to them and it’ll be beneficial to both the plogger as well as the environment,” says Ripu, from Ploggers of India.
As for the participants, and how they felt. Here are some of the thoughts from some first time ploggers.
“I don’t know why, people throw away so much trash just like that, there’s a dustbin they should use it. If we don’t keep our city clean and treat it with love, then no one will give it any respect. I want to do this everyday and get my friends to do it as well,” says Jyotiraditya a class VII student from Delhi Public School R.K Puram, who attended the event with his family.
“We think there should be strict laws when it comes to littering,” says the kids from Shri Ram
“Our country really needs more initiatives like this one, it’s time we take matters into our own hands and clean up our country,” says Veena who works at a private financial corporation in Delhi.
The event that lasted for a mere 30 minutes had a massive impact on the people who participated as well as the people who watched the drive from a distance. While some onlookers smirked at seeing people pick up trash, many seemed ashamed for not doing anything.
If you wish to participate in plogging around Delhi but don’t know how or are looking for a group to plogg with then get in touch with Ripu and the “Ploggers of India”, via their social media handles.
To read more about plogging and what it’s all about click here.
Links: Embassy of Sweden; Ploggers of India; World Environment Day; UN Environment; Swachh Bharat Abhiyan; EU Commission