Meet this engineer-turned-social activist who is making Uttarakhand a ‘Swachh’ state with his social initiative
The ‘Mera Gaon Swachh Gaon’ campaign, launched in 2017 by Bhuwan Rawat in Uttarakhand, made a huge impact in various districts of the state. Over 8,300 people have joined the movement so far.
With a population of 1.2 billion people, waste management remains an important matter of concern in India. Segregation of waste at source and poor sanitation are issues that need to be addressed immediately.
Initiatives like the Swacchh Bharat Abhiyaan, launched in 2014 by the government, has been addressing the issue for a while now. Many NGOs and individuals are also actively working towards formulating their own set of solutions towards waste management. For instance, Bhuwan Rawat, a 32-year-old engineer turned social activist, hailing from Devli Bagad village of Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, is working towards tackling the waste menace in Pauri District of the state.
Bhuwan started a campaign called ‘Mera Gaon Swachh Gaon’ in 2017. This campaign alone made a huge impact in various districts of the state like Devali Bagad in Chamoli, Khalu Village in Pauri, and Tolma, a village in Chamoli, where 8,300 people joined the movement.
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As part of the campaign, villagers clean the surroundings and the streets for two hours, two days in a month. Besides, eco-friendly dustbins are placed throughout the village so that people can dispose off the waste with ease.
Speaking to New Post, Bhuwan said,
“We have to give up the habit of looking at the State government for everything, we have to serve our village, our state, and our country.”
In addition to support from villagers, the Mahila Mangal Dal in Kandara, Pauri, Uttarakhand has also lent its support. According to Bhuvna Devi, President of the self-help group, its members work for the campaign every first and third Sundays, in which even the villagers join, and the work is divided among the people.”
Explaining the working of the campaign to The Logical Indian, Bhuvna Devi said, “One is to look after the pits and others work to beautify the village. After doing the cleaning job for almost two hours, we gather again and sing folk songs of Garhwal to celebrate the accomplishment of the task.”
The path to make the state clean with the help of its people started with one village Kandara, Pauri. Here, Bhuwan took matters into his own hands, after he saw how devotees littered the area around the Dhari Devi Temple in the village.
He later bought scrapped oil canisters, which he recycled and painted them in green and red. The oil canisters were made into dustbins, which were later kept around the temples for devotees to dump their trash, and soon, the area became one of the cleanest in the village as people used the dustbins diligently.
Bhuwan didn’t stop there. He picked up the broom himself and started cleaning up the trash off the roads. Witnessing Bhuwan’s will to clean the surroundings, the village people soon joined him and lent their support.
Speaking to The Logical Indian on the same, Surender Singh Rana, a resident of Divali Bagad village, Chamoli, said,
“We are connected with “Mera Gaon Swachh Gaon” for more than a year and can observe the intriguing change in the village. We were never aware of the impact of cleanliness until Bhuwan Rawat came to our village.”
Bhuwan has also started a volunteering forum, and has identified 14 schools in Pauri where there is a dearth of teachers. Through the forum, people can volunteer to work in the school and distribute books and bags according to the needs of students.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)
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