Sidharth Runwal, a Class-XI student, stands out from his peers. While other teenagers spend their time on sports and social media, Sidharth is an agent of difference—he takes up serious responsibilities and is making efforts to improve health and hygiene in the city of Mumbai.
Sidharth made a resolution to uplift the situation of the city's garbage cleaners who live in almost sub-human conditions. But their contribution to the city is immense. Keeping the streets of a city of 17-million, most of whom have low civic consciousness, is no mean task. Yet our garbage cleaners get little or no respect, recognition, or remuneration for their efforts.
The Bhamla Foundation of Mumbai has awarded Sidharth 'The Eco Champ Environment Crusader Award' on the eve of World Environment Day, at a function held at Amphitheatre, Carter Road in Bandra. Sidharth started 'Clean Up' an NGO of his own in 2016 through which he got to install several water purifiers across different localities of Bandra in collaboration with BMC. This provided clean drinking water twice a day to over 1200 garbage cleaners and rag pickers. For Sidharth, these workers are the champions of 'Clean India'.
Clean drinking water is a basic right of every human being, and these people do not get it. I wanted to help in improving their health and hygiene.
He is quick to acknowledge Prime Minister Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan as the inspiration for his venture:
I wanted to do something to contribute to the cause, and I got the idea about providing clean water to the garbage cleaners.