'Swacchata Yodhas' get special praise

'Swacchata Yodhas' get special praise

Ramakrishna Mission, Mangaluru, Secretary Swami Jitakamanandaji speaks to mediapersons in Ramakrishna mission premises in Mangaluru.

The team of ‘Swacchata Yodhas’ and their single-minded determination to discourage the public from littering in public places came in for special praise from Ramakrishna Mission, Mangaluru Secretary Swami Jitakamanandaji said.

Swamiji told media persons at Sri Ramakrishna mission premises on Thursday that there were about 800 to 900 black spots (illegal garbage dumping grounds) across the city. As Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) had removed the concrete garbage bins as part of its mission to make Mangaluru a `bin-less city’, the public continued to dump their garbage in the

When MCC failed in its attempts, like erecting signboards warning public from throwing their garbage in the streets, Ramakrishna Mission had hit upon a novel strategy. As part of the strategy, ‘Swacchata Yodhas’ were identified to keep vigil at such black spots and catch those throwing garbage at public place red-handed.

Dakshina Kannada Bus Operators Association (DKBOA) President Dilraj Alva said a Swacchata Yodha had informed him about an empty pizza box being dumped near CASIA school.

“After identifying the outlet that had delivered the pizza, we tactfully without arousing any suspicion had succeeded in eliciting information and the address where the pizza was delivered. The owner of the house was both surprised and embarrassed at the same moment when we knocked on his door to hand over the empty pizza boxes,” Alva recollected and added that the same person had confessed being a reckless garbage thrower at a workshop organised to raise awareness about pot compost. Even doctors were found dumping garbage at such black spots.

Chief Co-ordinator of Mangaluru Ramakrishna Mission Swachh Soch Programme Ranjan Bellarpady said one ‘Swacchata Yodha’ found clinical waste being dumped at a public space. On inspecting its contents, he was shocked to see dentures inside the plastic bag. He immediately contacted the nearest dental clinic and handed over the plastic bag to the staff.

But when the clinic continued to dump its waste in the street, MCC slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on the owner of the clinic. “It was then the dentist realised that the waste handed to staff for scientific disposal was thrown in the streets,” he said. Ranjan recollected that a differently-abled Swacchata Yodha had helped in the transformation of many reckless garbage throwers into responsible citizens.