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Beauty contestants send a message of Clean Doon

Dr Nitin Pandey

8-Dec-2010

Sunday presented an unusual sight in the otherwise laid back market of Kishan Nagar Chowk, Crowds gathered to get a glimpse of 20 finalists of the Miss Uttarakhand Contest 2010 wearing gloves and collecting garbage in a vacant piece of land in the center of the KIshan Nagar market.

Cleaning up Kishan Nagar Market
Participants of Miss Uttarakhand 2010 help CFGD in cleaning up

“This plot has been left unattended to by its owners” said Baljeet, who stays nearby. “For years we have been visiting the Municipal Office to try and get it cleaned but no one came, even the local councilor put his hands up saying he had no manpower. People had to cover their noses when walking on the road near it” he added.

Vineeta Bhardwaj, Coordinator of the newly formed Kaulagarh Chapter of Citizens For Green Doon says “One of my friends approached me if CFGD could step in where the government failed and we took up the challenge”. Dalip Sindhi, director of Sinmet Communications, which organizes Miss Uttarakhand Contest says “We are currently in the process of selecting Miss Uttarakhand 2010 and when we came to know about the plan of CFGD to clean up the Kishan Nagar Market, we jumped in and added a social angle to the competition.”

Wearing gloves 20 finalists joined members of Citizens For Green Doon and got down to do some really smelly work. In all 50 bags of garbage was packed and carted away to the nearest Municipality Bin. Passing by college students stopped and after a period of giggling and debating, volunteered to help in the cleaning up, simply to get themselves photographed alongside the contestants. A servant from a nearby house was spotted dumping garbage in the plot even as the cleaning was in progress. “It is unbelievable that someone would be audacious enough to dump garbage right in front of us” said Vineeta “and that too for an affluent house with a Honda Civic parked in front. We went in and talked to the house lady who was obviously embarrassed. But I hope now they will stop this habit’.

Said Aarushi Gupta, was one of the most active finalists. “I always wanted to help clean up the mess we all live in and today was my day. I do not understand how educated people can throw garbage in their neighborhood. What is the value of such education?”

After the compound was cleaned, cacti were planted along the roadside to dissuade people from throwing garbage in it again. “We met all the neighboring shopkeepers and residents and requested them to take care of this plot. Banners saying “Please do not throw garbage here” were also put up all around the plot.

How long the plot stays clean, will tell whether the efforts of these people have been worth it. It is up to the people of Dehra Dun to keep their city clean, waiting government or for someone from outside to come and do it, would be naïve.



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