Friday, March 26, 2010

Kids on a clean, green mission

Kids on a clean, green mission
Residents near Vasanthnagar Police Quarters are pleasantly surprised – the garbage is gone and there are saplings instead. And guess who’s behind it? The neighbourhood children
SHASHWATHI BHANUKUMAR


Abunch of 15 kids from Vasanthnagar Police Quarters are saying goodbye to garbage and hello to greenery by planting saplings in their area.
Sindhuri B Y (10) and Aadya T (8) are neighbours on Vasanthnagar’s 15th Main Road which has a mix of apartments and independent houses. Every morning, they would be greeted with the same sight. “From the time we’ve been here, all we’ve seen is garbage that people would dump,” says Sindhuri.
“I’ve heard that this has been the case for the past 15 years,” said Satyakrishna (11).
In March, the girls swung into action. They got other neighbourhood kids together and decided to get rid of the garbage and use the space for something better. They decided to plant saplings.
COLLECTION DRIVE
It wasn’t easy. They needed money to clear the place and to buy saplings. While the easiest way would have been to ask their parents, they decided not to. “We went from house to house to collect the money. All of them contributed and no one said they would not,” said Aadya. They also contributed from their own pocket money.
It took the kids 12 days to collect money from the 80-odd residents in the street. “We would come back from school and begin our collection drive. We never found it boring or tiring,” said Madhuri D (17). Together, they managed to collect Rs 2,780.
Next, they got the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) staff to remove the garbage. “My father helped with a cost list, telling us how much to spend on what,” said Amritavarshini (12).
The parents also pitched in by getting them a gardener and saplings from the horticulture department. “We got neem and Honge (Pongemia) saplings which will provide us shade later. We will also get some flowering plants soon,” said Amritavarshini.
As of now, they’ve planted eight saplings and have put up a board requesting neighbours not to dump any garbage there. Soon, they want to replicate the idea across Vasanthnagar.
NEXT TARGET
“They are also dumping garbage near a temple on the next street. We want to plant saplings there too. Since that is a smaller place, we will pitch in with our own money,” said Sindhura. “We want to beautify the whole of Vasanthnagar,” Amritavarshini added with a smile.

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