Thursday, August 26, 2010

NGOs hunt for ideas to revive Bangalore's green glory

NGOs hunt for ideas to revive Bangalore's green glory

Aparajita Ray



Various non-governmental organisations (NGOs), under the banner of The Urban Vision, have rolled out a mega campaign in an effort to conserve the city's environment.
The campaign envisages holding competitions, mainly involving educational institutions, for evolving ideas for a green and resourceful Bangalore.
The competitions will be held throughout next month and the final results will be declared after 30 days. Partners in the campaign include NGOs like Go Green, Keep it Clean, Rain Water Club, Saahas, Saytrees and Indian Youth For Climate Network.
The campaign is aimed at helping citizens set up watchful local agencies to solve their civic problems.
The competitions, which begin from September 1 in various educational and commercial institutions, have several prizes on offer including "most active civic reporter", "best city strategist" (student and professional) and "civic leader institution" award for the most active group in the contest.
The prize winners will win a tour package to Paradise Isle Beach Resort in Karnataka and Windows 7 operating software from Microsoft. All submissions of the participants will be available on the website of Urban Vision where people can vote and discuss civic-related matters in their neighbourhood. Registrations for the contest need to be done at the Urban Vision website.
The event partners held a meeting to plan the campaign at Jaaga in Langford Town on Wednesday.
The meeting observed the lack of initiatives among educated people who are aware of the laws to make their city clean and green. "When I started cleaning my street my neighbours thought I have gone crazy. But then they also got embarrassed and started doing their bit too. Later, we expanded our campaign through websites and the media," said Myriam Shankar from Keep It Clean.
"The tool is also in essence redistributing governance in the hands of people and we believe that it allows citizens to constructively work with the government to solve civic problems. We would also web enable the community to come together to fix smaller issues in their community," said Prathima Manohar, founder, The Urban Vision.
The Indian Youth For Climate Network rued that even educated people indulged in activities that adversely affect the environment leading to climate change and global warming.
With the competitions, the NGOs are aiming to bring together a civic sense in citizens. They believe that the campaign has to begin from the youth, students and children. The whole exercise, they felt, is to bring back Bangalore's past glory of being a green and clean city.

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