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| Last Updated:12/01/2021

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Citizens combine fitness with green initiatives to make Chennai cleaner



Combining civic duty with physical activity seems to be the latest fad. Chennai Corporation had two weeks ago announced that it will be tying up with the many running groups in the city to make a success of its initiative 'plogging' -- combining jogging with picking up waste, a concept borrowed from Sweden.




Likewise, a citizen group has been conducting a volunteer activity, ‘walk for plastic’, in different parts of the city, collecting plastic waste from the streets and also encouraging households to participate in the activity for fitness reasons.




About 120 youngsters from different parts of the city have come together for the campaign to curb plastic pollution on the streets. In the past 45 days, the 'walk for plastic' campaign has managed to collect 400 kg of plastic from city streets.




According to B.Gowtham, an artist from Villivakkam, he started campaigning for plastic recycling in his locality in June. "Initially there was no response and none stopped to listen. It was only after some of my friends shared these pictures on Facebook and Qhatsapp groups that it gained traction," he told TOI.




Luckily for them, their campaign soon got the attention of tinsel town -- actors Mirchi Siva and Kishore later joined the campaign. Soon this expanded to other areas of the city including Velachery, Kilpauk, Chromepet, Nungambakkam and Guduvanchery, Gowtham says.




The youngsters not only collected plastic strewn along the roads but also approached shops and passersby to create awareness on recycling it. Recyclers were ready to buy a kg of plastic at ₹8-₹10 and the team has so far made ₹4,000, which it planning to use to fund education of rag pickers' children.




The group says it does not intend it to be a weekend clean up activity, but a daily activity which can be taken up as a community fitness activity too.




Source: The Times of India, 22 July 2019, Chennai.