At flower show, more kids take cleanliness pledge

At flower show, more kids take cleanliness pledge

Volunteers working hard to keep the Lalbagh flower show litter-free had an unexpected boost to their campaign this year.

A large number of schoolgoers had enthusiastically signed the pledge board put up at the flower show with the message 'I pledge to zero litter', indicating the extent of awareness about keeping not just the garden, but also the city's streets clean.

"This is the fourth year of our association with the flower show," said Odette Katrak, who co-founded the volunteer group Beautiful Bengaluru. "We still have a long way to go in making this place zero litter. But it's heartening to see schoolchildren enthusiastically signing the pledge and making a commitment."

The 207th edition of the flower show, which began on January 19, has been grappling with the growing menace of piling garbage that spoils the city's most eye-catching event.

Wanting to restore the beauty of the flower exhibition, Odette and the army of volunteers have worked hard to discourage visitors from littering the walkway.

"The amount of waste is quite incredible, given the fact that lakhs of people visit the gardens during the exhibition," Odette said. "Our volunteers ask them not to throw the waste around, explaining the need to keep the gardens clean."

No plastic

Besides talking to visitors, the volunteers hold placards discouraging them from leaving a trail of plastic bags and water bottles. A few of them even exhort them to commit for a cleaner and greener city.

Schoolgoers apart, Odette said the campaign succeeded in getting pledges from more people to keep the city clean. After all, the volunteers know that spreading awareness is a slow and steady process that brings benefits in the long run.

If their high-decibel campaign last year had brought down littering by 60% in the show, more people have received the message this year.

What more, their efforts has won the support of the BBMP and other government agencies. "We're not done with our work," Odette said. "We want every Bengalurean to stop indiscriminate dumping of garbage and work hard to keep the city clean."

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