Green Your City India Blog Series: Raipur
May 17, 2015
Earth Day Network- India engages partners to build and enhance the region’s civic mobilization and leadership in the environmental movement. For Earth Day’s 45th anniversary, EDN- India ran a 45 day contest: शहर GREEN करो – It’s Our Turn to Lead. We called on citizens to make their cities green through environmental service and action campaigns. Hundreds of teams and individuals all across India registered with a photo or video of a spot in their city they wanted to turn environmentally friendly. Contestants had 45 days to achieve their goal and send their accomplishments to Earth Day Network- India. With entries from Kashmir to Ahmedabad, and Kolkata to Hyderabad, the shortlisted contestants will be sharing their incredible campaigns.
Green Your City India Series: Raipur
The city of Raipur is a big railway hub in the state of Chhattisgarh, located in central India and home to nearly 25.5 million people. Approximately 200 trains run daily through the Raipur station. Usually, garbage from the trains, as well as from nearby canteens and vendors, is flung in a vacant plot close to the station. Around 50 families of slum dwellers live on the fringe of this garbage pile. The unfortunate residents not only bore the stench that emanated from the rotting garbage, but also became victims of many diseases from the unhygienic conditions created. When approached, railway authorities would agree that the method adopted for garbage disposal needed to be changed, but plans remained plans. No action was taken and the tons of waste continued to mount.
That is until Nature Bodies stepped in. Members of Nature Bodies brought the slum dwellers together and explained to them the benefits of clean surroundings. Their next step was to motivate them to take up the task of cleaning the garbage. A batch of youth from the slum came forward to begin cleaning up operations. Others formed groups that stood there and physically restrained the railway authorities from dumping any fresh garbage on the plot. These continuous efforts worked. It compelled the railway authorities to arrange for trucks to transport the garbage to the designated dump sites, and not use a vacant plot.
The slum dwellers are happy that their efforts have improved the area, although there is still more to be done. The foul odor is reduced and the health of the residents has improved. Nature Bodies will continue efforts to ensure that cleanliness is generated each day, just like Earth Day is every day.
Through the शहर GREEN करो – It’s Our Turn to Lead contest, Nature Bodies was able to leverage this opportunity to clean a busy area in Raipur while educating and empowering disadvantaged community members.
Check out the before and after pictures!