by  – Zubin Daver

 Each one of us has at some point of time littered, spat, or has done something that has in some way harmed the very environment we live in, and after doing this have also complained about how dirty the place is, a fact which cannot be denied.

Celebrating festivals to name a few, Diwali, Holi, Ganpati etc. is a very important social event. Now when you think practically, celebrating these festivals leaves behind a lot of garbage and waste such as plastic, food, paper etc. Do you think just celebrating and leaving is the right thing to do?

Agreed many people will argue that we have sweepers to clean and we pay tax that takes care of that, but the waste we throw kills stray animals, cows, and clogs gutters, which in turn will indirectly cause problems to us. An easy example was the 26th of July torrential rain followed by floods, remember that day? Only when our life is directly disrupted do we understand the severity of the situation.

The time has come where we need to be responsible for our actions. So we, a few residents of Hiranandani, young people between the ages of 15 and 22 started a unique initiative to protect the environment, on Holi.  We decided that enough is enough!

IMG-20130327-WA0008Holi a festival of COLOUR, which was celebrated on 27th March 2013, saw hundreds of people play with colour and water.  Throwing water balloons made of plastic have become very popular these days. Unfortunately, once people have their fun they believe their part is done. Nobody even thinks of cleaning up their very own building; leave alone the streets, after dirtying up the place. We seven young residents of Tulip housing society decided to get down to clean up the mess created in the name of Holi.

We cleaned up our building first and then proceeded to clean the stretch of roads in and around our building. We were amazed at the amount of garbage we collected. We collected 17 garbage bags full of Holi water balloons and powder colour packets, which were just lying there on the streets and threatening our environment! And -this was garbage only from less than a one-third of the Hiranandani complex!  We got a lot of encouragement and support from passersby, and many of our friends have pledged to support us when we repeat this endeavor in future.  We pledged to make sure that once we finish celebrating any festival in future, we will ourselves clean up our premises. Isn’t it the least we can do?

We strongly believe that together, we can make a difference.  We earnestly request the residents of Hiranandani Gardens to make our community and country, a better place. It’s now or never.