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'Indians must indulge in recycling waste'

Mangalore, Feb 14, 2014, DHNS: 22:14 IST
Foreigners clean the Bolur area on the eve of Amma's visit to Mangalore. DH Photo
In an attempt to make India clean and protect mother nature from being polluted, the Amala Bharatam Campaign (ABC) volunteers organised a cleaning drive in Bolur, here on Friday.

ABC is an initiative concieved by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi who is to visit the city and give her darshan in Bolur on Saturday and Sunday.

The Amala Bharatam Campaign is a campaign aimed at cleaning public places and national highways in India. This campaign was launched by Amma during her 57th birthday celebrations in 2010. The campaign aims at enbracing new practical initiatives to clean India, promote health through hygiene, sort garbage and proper disposal of waste and also to make people aware of the need to maintain environmental cleanliness, according to a volunteer of ABC.

The cleanliness drive not only includes local devotees participating in this campaign but more importantly it involves over 100 westerners who are devotees of Amma. These westerners, come together from around 20 to 50 countries in order to partake in this initiative to restore mother nature.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the Coordinator of the western volunteers in Amritapuri, Mahita spoke about the passion that each of the volunteer holds for this campaign that is initiated by Amma. “In the west, we have very good waste management facilities provided by the government. There, recreation in nature is a huge movement.

But when we came to India, we were shocked by the lack of cleanliness here. We are moved because we have so much love for India and it’s truth, beauty and tradition,” she said and spoke about how Indians are influenced by the Western habits.

“There is a lot of western influence in India. Even the use of plastic, as opposed to the traditional earthern ware and banana leaves as utensils, comes from a western culture. But while making use of such modern techniques, one also has to adapt the waste managment techniques that are followed in the west.

What we are trying to do, is maintain a balance between these two cultures. We would like to enhance the natural heritage of India by bringing about an understanding of cleanliness and the methods of cleanliness,” she said.

Emphasising on the future of India, Mahita also spoke of the dangers of maintaining unhealthy environments. “Indians will have to change their mindsets about waste. Survival will be incredibly difficult if they don’t manage their waste and dispose them or recycle them in the right way,” she said adding that the term ‘Amala Bharatam’ refers to cleaning our beautiful and sacred mother.

Speaking about how waste mangament is being promoted in the campaign and how they go about doing it, she said that processing the waste includes composting and recycling and they make sure that no waste is burnt.

“We do everything in our power to encourage recycling by selling the waste,” she added and also said that the Amala Bharatam volunteers, the locals as well as the westerners have cleaned every city that Amma has visited, or has a school in or an ashram at one point.

The visit of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi includes the grand yajna or a sacred ritual to free the earth of it’s contaminants. There will also be volunteers handing out information leaflets on how to manage waste as well as display the various techiniques of doing the same, according to a local volunteer Geetha.

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