India’s first plogger, Ripu Daman Bevli reached Kolkata on Tuesday, October 8, to clean up the city under his mission ‘Run to Make India Litter Free’. The young plogger will be running and cleaning as many as 50 cities across India.
Speaking to ANI, he said, “We chose Kolkata for this month because during the festivity, people after offering prayers to Goddess Durga litter while having food. We are cleaning up the pandals to send out a message among the people to stop littering." Daman added, "Tomorrow, we are going to Kharagpur and will culminate our run in Delhi on November 3. We do not want people to clean up, we want people to be so responsible that they stop littering. Let us not crib, we all are also responsible for the litter."
Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter. As a workout, it provides variation in body movements by adding bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running, hiking, or walking. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' also lauded Bevli for his unique effort to clean up the country and creating awareness about the importance of sanitation among the masses. "Ripu Daman Bevli is taking a unique initiative. He is doing plogging. It was a new word for me when I first heard it. Plogging has been used in foreign countries but in India, Ripu Daman ji has made it quite popular."
While speaking about his initiatives for the no Single Plastic Use with PM Modi, Bevli said, "Instead of cribbing and complaining about garbage around me, I decided to do something. Its a run and clean up movement. We ask those who are in running groups to clean up around themselves during their cooling activities. Since youth want something cool to get inspired, I thought this activity could help."
"My initiative is to called Run To Make India Litter Free. When you remove garbage you also remove plastic from the environment. There is individual responsibility. We also asked them which single-use plastic they will remove from their life permanently. I am running 1,000 km through 50 cities. We are also using a cool hashtag called #PlasticUpvas," he said.
(With ANI inputs)