Youngsters come together to clean Delhi

July 25th, 2010 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Young Delhiites hanging out in a crowded market on a Sunday is a common sight. But the West Patel Nagar market in the capital saw the unusual sight of youngsters in their vibrant attire cleaning the market with brooms in their hands and masks on their faces.
Numerous other crowded markets were also cleaned by the volunteers of the Art of Living NGO. Each drive lasted for around two hours with the timings varying between 9.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.

“This is a follow up of the Yamuna campaign and our main motive is the ‘Clean Delhi-NCR Drive’ which will take place Sep 6-12,” Rajeev Dhall, Art of Living’s area coordinator for central Delhi, told IANS.

Being a holiday, the central Delhi market was abuzz with the usual crowds and traffic. Amid all the activity, the volunteers along with some Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) workers were merrily cleaning the sidewalks and streets.

“These volunteers are predominantly the young crowd. They came from various pockets of central Delhi like Patel Nagar and Rajendra Nagar and are actively taking part in this initiative,” Dhall said.

“I came from Ramesh Nagar and I want the people of Delhi to start acting responsibly. We all want to spread awareness regarding this,” said Smita Singh, 22, pursuing her masters from Symbiosis.

Karan Nijhawan, a 28-year-old chartered accountant working with Nokia said: “The beginning for the main clean up drive next month has been great. More than 1,000 volunteers would be joining us then.”

The volunteers were seen putting up posters outside the shops and distributing pamphlets to shopkeepers and passersby with a polite request to not throw them on the road after reading them.

“The problem is that sweepers clean the streets at 6 a.m. and at that time the market is closed. When the shops open around 11 a.m. the streets again get dirty and remain that way for the whole day,” said Anand Chaddha, a crockery shop owner.

MCD councilor Gulshan Bhatia said arrangements were being made to sort out this issue.

“We are thinking of deputing 10-12 sweepers every Sunday. On the shopkeepers part, we request them to collect their garbage in bags outside their shops and the MCD will collect them later in the day,” Chaddha told IANS.

The initiative was started with the ‘Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna’, a campaign to clean up the Yamuna river in March this year by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living. Hundreds of NGOs, organisations and corporates were part of the initiative.

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