Aiming to create a cleaner India, the Garbage Free India (GFI) citizens' movement will flag off its campaign from Kolkata on Tuesday, an organiser said.
A movement of around 80 current and former Kolkatans from diverse professional backgrounds, GFI will be aided by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), private companies and schools in starting cleaning drives across the city.
GFI volunteers will collaborate with students of Chowringhee High School to begin their campaign from the city's Chowringhee Lane area.
"This is a small first step towards changing the mindset of locals about accepting garbage as normal. Once the mindset changes, then changes will happen for real. It is not a switch that we can flip on. Things will take time. There are 70-80 of us and we need help from individuals to make it a reality," Kasturi Roychoudhury, one of GFI's founding members, told IANS.
As part of the initiative, GFI has urged schools and private sector companies in the city to join the movement.
"Schools are really enthusiastic. They have whole-heartedly come forward to help. Corporates have agreed to supply cleaning implements like dustbins, brooms and gloves. Younger people are more enthusiastic than the older ones," Roychoudhury said.
With teams like 'Photo Mobs' and 'Trash Mobs', GFI will capture people littering public places and volunteer to clean up the mess.
After the Chowringhee debut, GFI will venture to give the city's iconic Park Street a face-lift.
"We have spoken to KMC about this. We have to bring in all the stakeholders like restaurant and hotel owners and shopkeepers to help us out," Roychoudhuri said.
Besides its 'Schools and Community Awareness Team' for the Kolkata pilot, GFI plans to raise awareness through social networking websites with the help of over 2,000 online members and take the drive to other cities in the next few months.
--Indo-Asian News Service sgh-ssp/vr/vm/tb
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