In commemoration of Gandhi Jayanti, the honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi exhorted all Indian citizens to participate in the Swachhata Hi Seva Shramdaan for one hour on 1st October 2023 across the country with the vision of creating a ‘Garbage Free India.’
The Prime Minister’s clarion call reverberated across several centres and kendras of The Satsang Foundation (TSF) as they also highlighted the TSF’s MyBhoomi initiative which envisages the cleaning of the environment. Adults and children alike joined hands to clean urban and rural spaces and sensitize citizens about the dire need to nurture Mother Nature.
The cleaning drive at Madanapalle was led by a 50-member team comprising TSF representatives from Swaasthya Hospital, students and teachers of The Satsang Vidyalaya (TSV), Bharat Yoga Vidya Kendra (BYVK), the Satsang Skill Development Centre (SSDC), Satsang Women’s Empowerment Collective for Holistic Advancement (SWECHA), TSF office personnel and Satsang Nagar residents.
Municipal Commissioner Smt. Pramila joined the team with the municipal workers and addressed the gathering before the cleaning drive began at the daily food market in the heart of the town. The TSF team members swept all the lanes of the vegetable market; segregated plastic, paper, and compostable vegetable waste into separate garbage bags; and handed them over to the municipal, waste-collection team.
The Sacred Grove, Chowdepalle
The Sacred Grove team of 15 including volunteers and guests visited the four villages in the vicinity: Pedda Kondamari, Palyampalle, Koturu, and Madigapalle. As the volunteers walked along cleaning the roadsides, they were joined by villagers at Kondamari Village.
The contrast between the sheer beauty of the far-spreading paddy fields at Madigapalle Village and the mounds of hazardous plastic waste served as a stark reminder of the villagers’ challenges. Given the enormous need to segregate and recycle plastic waste at Palyampalle Village, the TSF coordinator has committed to facilitate transportation of the gathered plastic waste to Bengaluru for recycling.
The Peepal Grove School Sadum
The children at The Peepal Grove School (TPGS) offered their Shramdaan through multifarious modes to address mental and emotional ‘garbage’ as well as the external, physical waste generated through daily activities. Having articulated and illustrated their negative thoughts on paper, they discarded them symbolically into a garbage bin, ushering in positivity. During the extensive cleanliness drive that followed outside and within the school campus, the children marched on in groups to gather, segregate, and clean plastic waste and other kinds of waste.
Despite overcast weather conditions, a dedicated group of TSF MyBhoomi volunteers picked up plastic waste and other waste material such as discarded nylon ropes at a designated area in Payambalam Beach to restore its pristine beauty. This endeavor not only contributed to the cleanliness of the beach but also spread awareness about the collective responsibility of the community in ensuring a clean environment.
A total of 75 kg of dry waste was collected by a team of 21 TSF MyBhoomi volunteers across three locations: HSR Layout and Hari Hara Gutta, Lakshmipura in Bengaluru; and Siddara Betta, Tumakuru.
As the first group of volunteers gathered dry waste and plastic waste along the stretch of pavement extending from the HSR Layout Police Station, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) personnel helped them pick up the garbage bags and expressed their gratitude to them for their support. At Hari Hara Gutta, Lakshimpura the volunteers collected dry waste in a park for over 90 minutes starting from 12 noon.
A small group of four volunteers cleared up about 10 kgs of dry waste near an ashram at Siddara Betta, Tumakuru on the gentle slopes of a serene hillock.
The TSF MyBhoomi volunteers worked in unison with volunteers from Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to clean a designated area at Lake Mushki in Puppalguda, West Hyderabad under the able guidance of Ms. Madhulika Choudhary, CEO of Dhruvansh. This e-NGO has transformed the dried lake into a fresh-water oasis for several species of flora and fauna in the midst of high-rise, gated communities.
About ten gunny sacks and six garbage bags were filled up with plastic and non-biodegradable waste that lay strewn in the water lapping the banks and in and around its embankment. Biodegradable waste such as fruits, prasadam, and flowers used during the recent Ganesh idol immersion were fished out of murky plastic bags and placed separately for composting.
During the inaugural event held at Nashik under the aegis of the Aviral Godavari Mission, over 160 TSF MyBhoomi volunteers from across the country joined ranks with over 4000 volunteers from various schools, the National Service Scheme (NSS), the National Cadet Corps (NCC), local NGOs, and citizens in a remarkable 10+ kilometer plogging initiative from Anandwalli to Ramtirth spanning 17 different locations.
Sri M inspired the gathering to make the 2027 Kumbh Mela entirely plastic-free, setting a historic precedent while Dr. Rajendra Singh, the ‘Waterman of India,’ lent his support and enthusiasm over the following two days, infusing the spirit of rejuvenation into the Aviral Godavari Mission. The symbolic representation of “plastic monsters” served to highlight the menace of plastic waste.
The Chanda Satsang Vidyalaya, Lathira
For the children of Grades 5 to 8 studying at the Chanda Satsang Vidyalaya, Lathira (CSVL), the Swachhata Hi Seva Shramdaan event was a wonderful opportunity to participate in a plogging initiative to clean the banks of the River Ganga and Lathira Village.
The children paid homage to the sacred river, offering prayers, and reciting slokas and verses from the Ganga Stuti as they learned to be eco-conscious citizens.
The cleaning drive started a week early at Bardogam, Panchkula as the children, teachers, and principal of the Government Senior Secondary School cleared the school campus of waste materials and de-weeded it. On 2nd October 2023, they participated in a rally and a plantation drive. About 220 saplings of fruit-bearing trees such as mangoes and guavas and flowering trees such as champa were planted on the school campus and in the village. The children also took the Jal Seva pledge to use water judiciously and conserve it. The principal, a TSF volunteer, also installed a water supply unit to ensure clean drinking water for the children.
The Government Medical Clinic in Chandigarh served as the perfect spot for the TSF MyBhoomi volunteers as they worked in unison with the municipal workers to clean the public space in and around the clinic. Emphasizing the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in public areas, the volunteers strove to instill civic responsibility in the patients and general public.
A TSF MyBhoomi volunteer worked with workers of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation at Ishmeet Singh Chowk, Model Town and the area around the nearby Krishna Mandir. As this unique team cleaned the chowk by removing all the dry waste and plastic waste and sweeping the surrounding roads, it inspired passers-by to stop and express their admiration of this shramdaan – an offering of one’s hard labour to Mother Nature.
To participate in the MyBhoomi initiative of The Satsang Foundation and contribute to a clean environment, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.