Project Save Nandi Campagin # 2 [Author: Suruchi Dumpawar] 2nd July 2007

It always feels great to have done something worthwhile and if it is an unselfish deed towards Mother Nature, the feeling is matchless. The 65 plus people on the BMC's 'Save Nandi Hills campaign 2 ' would vouch for this fact. When people were enjoying the landscape and the pleasant weather in Nandi hills, the members of BMC where happily scavenging for litter.


It all started with the 'Save Nandi Hills campaign 1' on 16th June, which received a good response from the BMC members and the media. The campaign 2 saw an unprecedented number of people turning up to clean Nandi hills. Garbage bags, rubber gloves and masks were distributed to the members, collecting 100-120 bags of garbage being the mission of the day. Someone rightly observed that the masks were more of a necessity in polluted Bangalore.


The members divided themselves in groups of ten and started with the work in different areas. Starting with the roadsides, which are more susceptible to litter, and then moving towards the interiors. The most widely collected plastic bags where empty packets of 'lays' and 'kurkure'. And as Neeraj rightly suggested that one way to get rid of these, would be to emulate the Bannerghatta national park approach of using paper bags instead of plastic bags.  


Even when alcohol is prohibited in Nandi hills, with banners everywhere declaring the fact, there were many liquor bottles lying all around. It is obvious that no one takes the prohibition seriously and necessary measures are not been taken to impose it. It would be prudent to start checking the vehicles entering Nandi Hills for liquor bottles and plastic bags. The check would at least subdue the troublemakers if not completely stop them.  


As the BMC members continued with their work, the other visitors eyed them with amusement. Some of them, with callous disregard sullied the place deliberately, some of them appreciated the work and where considerate enough to not litter the place. It is very necessary that 'people who care' out number the deterrents. Because it is almost impossible to keep Nandi hills clean without the co-operation of the visitors. And for this it is necessary to gently remind them that 'Keeping Nandi hills clean' is their responsibility too.


It is necessary to come up with ideas to make Nandi hills plastic free in a sustainable way. BMC plans to follow up this campaign with other campaigns in the near future. The campaign was a satisfying experience for the participants, with many of them being first timers, the campaign worked to 'break' the clichéd 'ice'. At the end of the day seeing the van filled with garbage bags brought a smile to everyone's faces. Beauty is a thing to cherish they say, and more so when you have even a small hand in crafting it.