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Hygiene Kits for Anganwadi Mothers and Children

To stay healthy, one has to practice good hygiene habits. In fact, good personal hygiene is important for both health and social reasons. It entails keeping your hands, head, and body clean so as to stop the spread of germs and illness. Your personal hygiene benefits your own health and impacts the lives of those around you.

But most people from poorer backgrounds might not be able to afford full hygiene essentials. This is where we tried to make a difference. We had corporate volunteers make Health and Hygiene Kits for mothers of children at Anganwadis. Such activities encourage the volunteers to realize the need for a healthy and clean environment.

So, what’s in a hygiene kit?

Brush, toothpaste, oil, soap, hand wash, nail cutter, shampoo, sanitary napkins and five biodegradable bags for disposing of those napkins!

These paper bags with strings are made by the volunteers themselves. Once they make them, the hygiene kit essentials are dropped into them.

These health & hygiene kits will be distributed to Anganwadi children and their mothers. In reducing the risk of infections and preventing the transmission of germs, we help them to stay healthy and avoid illness. It also ensures proper skin cleansing while handwashing will make sure that bacteria doesn’t transfer from hands to food and then to one’s body.

Here, we have to remember that when families from poorer backgrounds contract any illness or infection, they run up enormous hospital bills compared to their earning capacity, which includes doctor appointments and medicines. To avoid these events that can severely damage a family in financial terms, the focus should be on how to avoid circumstances that can lead to them.

These health & hygiene kits will be distributed to Anganwadi children and their mothers. In reducing the risk of infections and preventing the transmission of germs, we help them to stay healthy and avoid illness. It also ensures proper skin cleansing while hand-washing will make sure that bacteria doesn’t transfer from hands to food and then to one’s body.

Here, we have to remember that when families from poorer backgrounds contract any illness or infection, they run up enormous hospital bills compared to their earning capacity, which includes doctor appointments and medicines. To avoid these events that can severely damage a family in financial terms, the focus should be on how to avoid circumstances that can lead to them.

Lakes: More Than Your Early Morning Running Track
A water body, in its deep blue hues, brimming with aquatic fullness with vibrant fish and bird life.Ideally, the image in your mind would allow this water to be used for drinking purposes; if not drinking, at least direct supply for the potable uses of your households. Ideally, sewage and other harmful effluents would not be allowed into the waters and you would go jogging around the beautiful full lakes in the mornings before leaving for work. Ideally, your mind would not accommodate an image where the lake water ends drying up leaving only the bare lake bed.

This is indeed the ideal image that will pop up in your minds. But the overpowering reality is quite different and forces you to change your thinking.

Currently, most lakes are definitely not fit for drinking, even for potable use for that matter. Scientifically and historically, they are not solely meant to be water suppliers or as mere objects of beauty. And most lakes are never meant to remain full throughout the year. If they do, then it indicates something’s wrong unless they are perennial lakes. Intriguing much?

In this era of rampant urbanization, the whole meaning of what a lake is (beyond its technical definition) and its function in our society is lost somewhere along way.

Seema Mundoli helps us understand them a bit better.

She guides us through the changing dynamics of what the lake means to the local people, across the centuries. More importantly, she tells us of the almost-extinct connection between us and the water bodies.

All lake bodies house dense, living ecosystems. Reducing them to water containers is unjustified. In fact, many local communities, especially in historical Bengaluru, trace their roots back to the aquatic space of the lakes. The fact that their lives depend on the lakes implies more than economic reliance. Here, she sheds light on how the religious, social and cultural aspects of the local communities are intertwined with the lakes’ existence. Erasing the lakes is equivalent to erasing their histories and their very identity. In turn, these interactions between the local people and the lakes help maintain the water bodies, in terms of the quality and quantity.

The true meaning of nurturing Nature and its bounty doesn’t mean fencing it off from all kinds of interaction and securing it in a cage-like setup. In the past, when the local communities used to depend on lakes for their sustenance, they had their own ways of giving back to nature too. They are essentially care takers of the lakes.

For instance, the lake beds of seasonal lakes that go dry in the summer yield a particular lake plant locally known as Honagone Soppu (Sessile Joyweed) which is harvested for food. With the stone pitching around the lake and the continuous flow of sewage water into the lakes, the lakes remains full throughout the year. This not only aborts the traditional nutritious soppu-rich diet of the surrounding local communities but also disrupts the life-death cycle of the lake.

Lakes: More than a Water Reservoir, More than a Thing of Beauty 2
Honagone Soppu (Sessile Joyweed)

If a lake is always full of water then, Seema warns that we should actually be worried, that it means it is full of sewage. One of her studies at Nallurahalli Lake showed the lake being full of water in May and June. The shocking revelation was that it was actually sewage water from the nearby hospitals. Due to this, the lake’s character has changed, the size of water body reduced due to encroachment of its wetland while the lake has sewage waters choking life inside it. A perpetually full lake is not always good news.

Lakes: More than a Water Reservoir, More than a Thing of Beauty 3
Nallurahalli Lake
Source: India Times

Moreover, the seasonal lakes usually become full of fresh monsoon rains after summer but now the stone pitching impedes this natural cycling of water. The plants that grew and were harvested on the lake bed ready the soil with vegetation decomposed into organic matter for the monsoon rains. This process makes the incoming rain-filled lakes rich with minerals for its aquatic life. Yet another example of inter-dependency is when the local communities and domesticated animals cut through the dry lake beds in the summer. People drop fruit seeds eaten along the way and the animals, excreta – both creating organic matter in the soil. As can be clearly seen, a dry lake is good and necessary for its health. Modern rejuvenation methods hamper these natural processes where the lakes depend equally on the local communities as they do on the lakes. This way, the villagers gave back to the lakes by taking care of its health.

Intrigued, I asked her to elaborate on modern lake rejuvenation.

Everyone loves to see blue sparkling water surrounded by colorful blossoms. To get to these picturesque images, our modern rejuvenation techniques relies heavily on landscaping. The look of the lake is heavily stressed upon, especially to feed the imagination of the urbanized residents. Such motives can ruin the very ecosystem of our lakes.

How?

Stone pitching and a soup-bowl design of the water bodies, two major features of modern lake rejuvenation, eat up the gentle shore line and the wetland surrounding the lake thereby discouraging shallow water birds and sealing off crucial nutrients that would ideally be sourced from the wetland to sustain lake’s aquatic life. Seema says that restoring lakes is definitely needed but physical changes to modify its look is uncalled for and harmful to the lake. The aesthetic ornamental landscaping shuns the traditional trees that are usually found around the lakes. She reminisces about the old lakes on the outskirts of Bangalore where the ficus, Jamun and the Tamarind tree abundantly grow on the lake bunds. The Tamarind and Jamun trees are not favored by residents around lakes in our current times as they are said to drop on the road staining it and also the passersby. Only ornamental plants are planted around the lakes to make it colorful and pleasing to the eyes thereby changing the role of the lake in the society.

Milettia Pinnata, also known as Pongame oiltree. The seeds obtained from the Pongame tree through cold pressing is used as lamp oil, in tanning of leather, for medicinal purposes and also sometimes converted to bio diesel. At Kannur Lake, Seema had found that the Panchayat collects and sells these seeds where the womenfolk would shell away the Honge seeds both alone and as a group. These are traditional practices that strengthens the community feeling and sustainable too.

Lakes: More than a Water Reservoir, More than a Thing of Beauty 4
The flower of Pongame oiltree

But is that all that we have lost to urbanization, I wondered. Seema replied to my unspoken question by saying that there is a much subtler yet dangerous side to people’s revamped relationship with these water bodies. Lake landscaping aka beautification of our lakes. It sounds like a harmless activity but its implications can be far-reaching and disastrous.

Lake landscaping changes the whole meaning of the lake. From being a living, integral part of local community well-being, it becomes a mere ornament of beauty. The space of the lake is bounded, patrolled by a security guard with entry allowed to public only during certain hours. It is always meant to remain full and brimming with water to create the aesthetically-pleasing picturesque image in our collective urban thinking. While in the past, the local communities’ interaction with the lakes ensured its proper health. This collective practice ensured that every local community felt like they were part of the water body, co-existing with it sustainably. On the other hand, the modern method of maintaining a lake is based on restrictive timings and exclusion. This leads to the alienation of the local communities as they are not allowed to interact with their lakes as they have been doing for centuries. Restoration is definitely good but physical changes to the lake, in the process of restoration, can generate unhealthy changes to the traditional view of the lake as a complete ecosystem. It can turn a blind eye towards the significance of wetlands, gentle slope margins and the importance of local community interacting with the lakes.

In our current times, the lake is seen solely as a water reservoir. The restrictive entry timings and access can be harmful to many. Seema points out that the peaceful calm of a lake has seen to relax an autistic child. However, the normal timing of a lake has people bustling in an out causing a lot of chatter and noise which can be inconvenient for the autistic child. In the past, the lake premise also used to function as safe haven for the transgender community who is much stigmatized by the society. But now the lake is fenced off with a patrolling security guard who doesn’t allow for such local community gatherings. Though the restrictive timing and access is to avoid vandalism, we have to collectively work towards building a more inclusive lake space.

Seema goes on to say that when we emphasize the lake as a mere water body, we do not realize the multi-purpose values of lakes, the rhythm of the local community and their irrefutable relationship with the water bodies. Landscaping of a lake to fit modern lake ideals kills local community practices and therefore leaving these families bereft of their culture. We forget that such interactions are necessary to form deep bonds with their surroundings and Nature. The lack of our interaction with the lakes indicates the reason behind the prevalent abuse of our water bodies. The fact that we mercilessly destroy our environment is a natural response to the kind of values we follow in our current age where only humans are considered as sentient beings, or beings which deserve the right to live. Even animals don’t enjoy that privilege. Back in the past, everyone understood they were part of a whole and that each performed a specific role, and that each part is necessary for the whole society too function – like a spider’s web.

On a final note, it is good to remind ourselves that not all that is modern is beneficial. Modern lake rejuvenation, for instance, has to be critically understood and tweaked. It is necessary to carefully develop sustainable water management. In our case, we simply have to take a leaf out of the book of local communities and strike a right balance between the past and the present.

Lakes: More than a Water Reservoir, More than a Thing of Beauty 5

We gratefully acknowledge the various inputs and insights provided by Seema Mundoli towards the formulation of this article.

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Increased Bird Sighting in Bangalore Lakes, Thanks to our Bird Perch Man

It is eye-opening to find out how a simple idea such as a bird perch can address so many concerns and resolve them too. Baali, a resident who lives near the Seegehalli lake at Bangalore, had a brain wave while watching a crane struggling to catch a fish in the lake back at his native home. Lack of trees is a major cause for this problem as there are no resting spaces for the birds.

Why a bird perch?

He then decided to set up a wooden platform in the middle of the lake so that there could be easier access to food for the birds. Not just in term of food, the perch will also serve as safe spot for cleansing activities as birds require the assurance of no-predators for creating its own personal space. As the wooden perch is in the middle of the lake, they are pretty much away from any harm from humans and its other natural enemies.

Most of the targeted lakes are the new rejuvenated ones as they lack surrounding trees. Most of the greenery of the newly worked upon lakes is comprised of saplings. By now, you are probably wondering how the perch got to the middle of the lake.

In the summers when the water level is low, the Seegehalli Lake Trust folks get down into the lakes and build the wooden perch by setting it into the soft soil bed.

 

Baali goes on to explain how he found birds spending long hours camped on the perch. When the perch is sometimes a bit bigger than usual, it would be pretty cramped in there. Sometimes, you would find a single bird sitting with wings spread like he owns the place. Baali chuckles as he nicknames the perch calling it the “Golden Throne”.

Baali and his fellow volunteers have also tried constructing slopes for ducklings for easier access to the water. All of the volunteers, including Baali, are full time corporate employees.

Till now, they have covered 13 lakes in Bangalore.

What next?

When asked about his long term mission for Bangalore, he said that he desires to introduce the bird perches into more lakes in order to encourage both local and migratory birds and assure them safety.

In doing so, we encourage rich fauna to inhabit the lake environment and also keep the fish population under control. It will also attract the residents making them visit the lake more often. In turn, they will step up if there are any cleaning drives or other activities towards the welfare of the lake.

 

Venkata Subba Rao tells us a Byrasandra’an Tale

What makes a man fight for a lake for 20 odd years?

We set out to find the answer to this question from the 82-year-old Venkata Subba Rao who fought for the survival of Byrasandra Lake.

There must be some deep bond or connection between the lake and the person in question, surely. Maybe he grew up amidst numerous lakes. Maybe his childhood was spent next to a lake his whole life and had wonderful memories with it. Or maybe he belongs to a traditional community who has close ties with water bodies. Bearing these things in mind, I left home to meet him.

When I reached the lake, I was greeted by a dry expanse of land. Byrasandra lake was comparatively smaller in size to other large lakes of Bengaluru such as Ulsoor or Hebbal lake. It was a hot afternoon while I waited for him. Soon, I saw an old man walking towards the lake. I went up ahead to greet him and the eyes that met me were full of quiet determination. After due introductions, I blurted out the question that had been haunting me for a while.

Subba Rao answers me with a smile, “Well, the truth is there was no such special story behind it.”

Surprised at his answer, I asked him to elaborate. He was born in Doddaballapur where he attended his initial schooling where he does not remember being in the proximity of any lake. Then his family shifted to Ulsoorpet and even there, he did not have any rich experiences or memories connected to the lakes. He was definitely aware of the existence of the lakes in his area but that’s about it.

Back in his office days as a senior manager at RBI, he would catch the bus home near the Sampangi Tank. Even back then, he says that the lake was in a bad shape. Now the lake is no more except a small bit which is preserved since the water from it plays a crucial role in the Karaga festival.

He finally moved to the Byrasandra Lake premise in the year 1977 where he built his own house. Every day, the mornings would be full of bird sounds and the chill crisp air could not be more oxygen-rich. When I asked him if it attracted people in the morning, he laughed and replied that the lake as a recreational activity is a recent phenomenon. Nobody could walk also as the land was marshy and rich in biodiversity.

But all of it disappeared in 1992 when the BBMP planned on shifting a slum to the lake. The lake was drained and the lake bed was readied to accommodate the slum dwellers. The residents, headed by him, filed a PIL in the High Court of Karnataka and obtained an interim stay against the Corporation. The Court ordered the Corporation to stop the filling up of the lake with debris. In 1999, the residents got to know that some people had filed a writ petition claiming the lake to be their ancestral property in1996. This was obstructed by the endeavours of the Subba Rao and his advocate friend at the Court. Then, as BBMP started fencing the lake, the writ petitioners resurfaced. Our man Subba Rao fought them again which ended with them being fined with Rs 5000 each.

In 2005, an even bizarre incidence took place. The lake was put on public auction by the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT). The lake had been offered as collateral security to a Public Sector Bank by a builder/developer in respect of a credit facility availed by him from the bank. This was again taken up by Subba Rao and his advocate friends at both High Court and Supreme Court and they finally won the case. The public auction results were declared null and void. This went on till 2011.

Then, the BDA took up the lake for development in 2013. Kere Habba was celebrated with much joy and vigour. In 2017, following some sewage issues, the lake was rejuvenated.

There is still development required at Byrasandra Lake. As they say, there is always room for improvement.

He says that this fight for the lake’s survival would have been impossible without the help of his advocate friends Sarvashri G.S.Visweswara, Senior Advocate, T. Krishna, A. Madhusudhana Rao, and G.V. Chandrashekahar who successfully fought the legal battle.

So finally I ask you, my reader, why would anyone fight for a lake?

Simply because it is our responsibility to safeguard Nature’s blessings and preserve it for the next generation!

 

Economic Mobility for Transgender Community through Dairy Farming

United Way of Bengaluru strongly believes in creating sustainable communities. In looking at long-term development, it is crucial that we build skilled people who can take care of themselves in the long run. Keeping this in mind, we realized the need to look at a much-ignored section of the society, the transgender community. Stigma towards transgender community still survive, even more strongly in rural regions. Already strife with superstitions and backward thinking, taboos are more difficult to break when there is lack of education.

Most of the times, given the social stigma, the transgender community finds it difficult to find employment. So, we decided to build sustainable employment to doubly marginalized rural transgender community through dairy farming. On one hand, they are socially stigmatized and on the other, chances to make a living for themselves are fewer in rural areas where ignorance is higher when it comes to being gender sensitive.

As part of the program, we gave them a new lease on life by providing them with dairy farming training and equipment, 2 cows and a buffalo for the farm’s setting up. Since milking machines were given to them as dairy farm equipment, there was a necessity to train them in dairy farming, naturally.

                     

 

So, we trained them in dairy farming, built a cow shed, provided them with milk cans, animal health check-ups, medicines, fans inside the cow shed, cow food and cow shed mats.

This entire process reverses urbanization! It will not only ease the weight of population concentrated in urban cities by slowing down people from rushing to cities for employment but also strengthen the rural regions economically.

Student Mini Grants for Rural Development: Youth making it count

With the coming of rapid urbanization, most native practices that can keep the villages healthy and running are lost to time. Moreover, rural areas often are not given enough attention with regard to basic amenities and infrastructure. The new age technology and infrastructure are not low-cost and therefore the rural areas are subjected to sloppily-created amenities or none at all.

What does this tell us?

It is time that we went back to our indigenous ways of conserving natural resources and group the villagers themselves into a force that can help themselves and stand on their own feet.

United Way Bengaluru’s student mini grants helps people do exactly that. These UWBe funded project grants are student-driven in nature where a student leads a group that also consists of the panchayat development officer, a representative from the gram panchayat members (president/ vice-president/ members), a school teacher, elders, youth, women.

These mini-grant projects will focus on areas such as restoration of mini-water bodies such as Kalyani, open well or smaller lakes, revival of a mini-forest areas such as Gundu Topu with plantations, protection of heritage trees or already established commons such as Gomala (social forests). They can set up common nutrition garden that benefits the community or work towards conserving any endangered species of plants or crop species. They can also focus on repairing of the basic infrastructure that benefits the larger community like a community hall or just about any other innovative ideas that can help solve the day-to-day problems of the rural population.

Wells to be recharged

A Kalyani being restored

Bamboo and Jackfruit plantation taking place

Recently, one such student mini grant was used to restore native water conservation systems like a mini Kalyani and three open wells. It was also used to desilt an inlet drainage to improve inflow of water to the local lake and finally the plantation of Bamboo and Jackfruit saplings for elephants which is still in progress.

 

 

Seedballing Greener Futures at Kudlu Dodda Lake

The sun was burning hot in the middle of the afternoon around 1:30 pm and the Kudlu Dodda Lake, where the seedballing activity was going to take place, was clear and still. Throughout the path lining the lakeside, we find concrete seating arrangements set up by the Wells Fargo company.

The raw ingredients for the corporate volunteering activity of seedballing – fresh mud pressed into balls, water cans and the seeds – was prepared much before the slated time of the event, 2 pm. The seeds chosen for the seedballing are native to the Karnataka state such as Ala, Arali, Gliciridia, Burega and Hunase. Twenty seven corporate volunteers from Wells Fargo and three school-going student interns joined us soon for the activity. There were some local community helpers also to aid the event in checking the quality of the finished seed balls.

Native seeds

All of them were asked to gather in a shaded space and they were prepped with the details of the composition of the seed balls, how to make them and where the finished seed balls will be dispersed.  The goal for the event was to make 3,000 seed balls in roughly 1.5 hours.

How were the seed balls made?

The mud balls prepared beforehand was a mixture of fresh mud and organic manure (cow dung and bird poop). They are meant to be organically rich in composition so that it aids in critical seed growth when they are finally dispersed into the forests near the foothills of Nandi hills and nearby areas during the monsoon season.

The Wells Fargo volunteers divided themselves into groups containing 3 to 6 members and they enthusiastically got to work. There was a lot of laughter and chatter in the air while they made the seed balls in joint and cheerful effort.

Getting dirty for better future

Every group was provided with one big organic mud ball. Each individual volunteer picked small amounts of mud and placed the native seeds inside it and then rolled it into small round balls. These were placed onto biodegradable plates and they were moved by the school student volunteers to an area under the sun for drying. The shaded space where the seedballing activity was being carried out, overlooked the lake with various birds perched on the tree located in the middle of the lake. Some of the birds one could spot in the lake premise are ducks, herons and migratory birds.

The last lap

The seedballing activity picked up speed towards the end with no sign of exhaustion from the volunteers’ side.

By 3:40 pm, we had prepared around 3,130 seed balls, surpassing the set goal! Thrilled with the results, we decided to wrap it up for the day. The seed balls were then stored in the shaded space safely for dispersal in the coming months.

Before setting out, we asked few of the volunteers to express their thoughts on today’s activity. From their positive feedback and the huge number of seed balls that we managed to produce, the whole event spelled success.

Corporate Volunteering is a force to reckon with. Each of the volunteer is an educated, contributing member of the society and we you put together multiple hands, they collectively become massive change makers. With more similar initiatives, we can pave way for greener futures and ensure a more sustainable existence.

Ramaiah’s Journey to Good Health

He was rejected by his children and made to sit outside the house. A patient of chronic asthma, his condition worsened to a point that he could barely breathe. The dumping grounds is one of the primary reasons for his condition. Every hospital where he sought help did nothing. The doctors had told his family that he will die sooner or later and that there is barely any hope.

So, his children chucked him out of the house.

Ramaiah expresses his happiness of the massive change he has found in his health conditions

When the MHC stumbled upon this patient, they immediately took up his case. The MHC doctor examined him only to find that his chronic asthma had become a bigger monster – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease. It is also known as Chronic Obstructive Airway disease. His pulmonary lungs were blocked and the lower part of his lungs was clogged with water. This was causing his breathlessness and suffocation.

As a farmer, he had been allergic to dust and cold weather. It simply got worse over time. Now that he was taken care of by the MHC, he is now better and finally has a roof over his head too. The MHC doctor had also spoken to his family about the disease and they have realized their mistake. It is never too late to seek healthcare. Death should not see an inevitable cause for every small issue; it is the family’s duty to never quit on their member.

‘PLOG RUN’ – a sport promoting Greener Cities and a Greener Nation!

The cleaner the city the healthier and happier it is! On a Sunday morning 30th of June, Continental in partnership with United Way of Bengaluru organized a Plog Run in 4 locations across India as part of their employee volunteering activity.

In a 3 hours event, about 700+ volunteers from all the four locations participated in the plog run and picked up about 486 gunny bags of recyclable waste. This event was held at Bengaluru, Pune, Gurugram and Modipuram on the same day between 7.30 am and 10 am simultaneously.

Bengaluru city saw 220 people picking up about 250 bags of trash around the Agara Lake Trail, HSR Layout. Despite an early morning shower, 125 Pune volunteers jogged on District Centre Spine Road to pick up 37 bags of waste and Gurgaon bought 200 volunteers picking up 156 bags of recyclable materials thrown around Leisure Valley Park, sector 29. Modipuram edition of the event bought 70 employees to run around the factory premises of Continental and picked up 55 bags of trash.

Getting down and dirty for a good cause!

The event in Bengaluru kick-started with an oath to reduce the use of plastic not only in one’s life. The jingle move saying “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remove, Rejoice”, was a treat to watch.

“We as responsible corporates, this is the least that we could do in terms of giving back to society. Day in and day out we draw a lot of resources from the community. It is our responsibility to keep it clean. We along with our employees intend to make this responsibility more of fun so that over a period of time we can reduce the unnecessary trash in the society and promote greener, healthier place around us”, says Mr Prashanth Doreswamy, Managing Director, Continental.

Plastic trash, our environment’s arch enemy

“Social change can happen more effectively when we citizens come forward and take the initiative. We need to educate the common public on the rights practices of lifestyle to fight against the odds of the environment. Through such events, we not only create a buzz but also trigger that sense of responsibility in every participant to change that one habit that harms nature – segregation of waste. It is high time. We are cautioned about the crisis that we will soon encounter if Mother Earth is not healed. We are glad to join hands with Continental in this wonderful initiative”, said Mr. Rajesh Krishnan, Executive Director, United Way Bengaluru.

Getting creative!

United Way Bengaluru aims to engage many corporates in such events and see larger participation from the communities towards its green goal.

“Plastic free Sompura” campaign by LM Volunteers picking up speed

Facilitated by UWBe, LM volunteers have tried to create awareness at the weekly market at Sompura about the environmental and health hazards of using plastic, especially single use plastic.

Their aim was to motivate the public for positive behavior change through selected activities carried for an extended period of time. The first week focused was on spreading awareness using the public announcement system which was continued for the next four weeks and so on. However, the first week also consisted of planting tree species in the market area and lake bund by market vendors and LM volunteers. The vendors were also asked to take responsibility of taking care of the plants planted by them. The third activity was the distribution of paper bags to customers to reduce the usage of plastic bags.

Paper-cut’ing the plastic thumb of environmental pollution

LM Windpower corporate volunteers handing out newspaper bags

The next weeks were slated to have similar awareness sessions. However, instead of cloth bags, paper bags were distributed in all the other weeks. Both these are ongoing activities. Positive results were observed such as vendors using the paper bags for packing the vegetables and grocery, the happy disposition of the vendors as they happily greeted the LM volunteers and most importantly, the public showing interest to shift from plastic to alternate.

The most unique point of this story was that this event had inspired an old villager to take up this cause and fight for a plastic-free Sompura. He had patiently kept watch for few days to catch the ones who brought the plastic into the village red-handed. He also volunteered to make paper bags for free for the well-being of his village. This shows the importance of setting an example for the people to follow. Once we set the action in motion, there will be people to take it up and continue the domino effect.

More power to corporate volunteering!

 

 

 

 

 

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