Plogman of India aka Ripu Daman Bevli, who has started a nation-wide clean-up campaign, is in the city to motivate people to clean beaches, roads.
Now, the 31-year-old has started a nation-wide clean-up campaign called Run to Make India Litter Free and is running 1,000 km covering 50 cities in 50 days. During the journey, he will be collecting trash from the beaches of Goa to the hills in Jammu, from the Gangetic Plains to forts and famous monuments of India. This is the longest such cleanup drive undertaken anywhere in the world. The youngster is in Chennai on September 11 and will be running at Elliot’s Beach to create awareness on the importance of keeping our environment litter-free. After his visit to Chennai, Ripu will be heading to Vellore.
“I have this crazy dream of seeing, of making India litter-free. In an attempt to make this dream a reality, I quit my job to get on the road and engage with people in a bid to make them a responsible citizen and pick up their own trash. I have been single-handedly working towards achieving this goal from 2017 and have introduced the concept of plogging in India. It’s an activity where a group of people collectively cleans up a place to get rid of plastic waste. In the span of two years, the group Ploggers of India has successfully completed cleaning up 21 cities in 300 drives,” he says proudly.
Ripu staunchly believes that we all need to learn to leave our footprints, and not carbon footprints. “My biggest focus is to engage kids in plogging as I believe that habits inculcated at that age are going to last a lifetime and they are going to be the leaders of change — a positive change,” he adds.
Run to Make India Litter Free campaign that was launched on September 5 in Kochi is a culmination of two years of hard work, sweat and community building to turn the dream of Swachh Bharat (clean India) a reality “Everyone complains that there is so much of litter around but nobody does anything about it. We are responsible of our own litter and it’s our duty to keep our surroundings clean. There are a lot of ways in which one could dispose the waste. We just need to follow them. Moreover, through this run, I wanted to make people aware of other alternatives they have other than single-use and how they can curb down on its usage. There are many ways in which one can move towards a minimal waste lifestyle,” sums up the runner.