Tuesday, July 8, 2014

India Clean Sweep - Clean up of Khajaguda lake

GHAC Volunteers Cleans Khajaguda Once again

With every sun that rises, we rise from sleep to a new day with a different spirit. Waking up for a different cause and challenge. Some of us have to run for office, some for their basic needs. This weekend on this Sunday (June 8th) on ‘World Environment Day’, we woke up for a better reason for cleaning up the Khajaguda lake that we have been the most frequent visitors for. I was representing GHAC (Great Hyderabad Adventure club) while the event was organised by the club in association with Chennai Trekking Club (CTC) and The Hindu.

Many volunteers from GHAC, NGOs-Bhumi and Dirty Feet, college-IIIT Hyd and school children joined the event at the lake surrounded by beautiful rocks, trees, fishes and with many birds at 6:30am. The clean up was inaugurated by Diyanat Ali, founder of GHAC and the volunteers were briefed about the impact they would make on the environment by regular clean up and awareness programmes. 

We gathered near the lake and planned the clean up with different bags for different waste (degradable, non-degradable). GHAC organisers briefed everyone about the safety precautions to be taken during the clean up programme. Armed with the reusable gloves and mask, we started to pick the waste.

With the curious onlookers who came to the lake for their morning activities, the serious vendors who were weighing their fish to get the best Sunday deal from the sale, the birds that perched onto the rocks in the middle of the lake, to sip and take a dip in the water, the pigs that were muddling in the mud, enjoying the warmth of the sun, the buffalos that were having a haughty swim in the water, the lorry that was taking bath in the lake water, the encroachment into the lake that haughtily dominated the lake area, the green trees that were welcoming us with the cool breeze, encouraging us for the activity it was quite a scene near the lake.

While cleaning the lake, we gave the locals some educational materials explaining the hazards of littering and benefits from the proper disposal of garbage.
We tried to motivate the onlookers, fishermen and others who gathered near the lake regarding keeping the lake clean and in reducing plastic usage. By 8:30am we held nearly 41 large bags of garbage treasure collected near the lake.
Some of the garbage was of the ganesh chaturthi celebrations of the previous year.
Apart from the satisfaction of having done something for the day, we had a surprise breakfast provided by Dirty feet organization which we ate haughtily.
We retired to our homes after disposing the garbage in the local bins. It was a day to remember, a day which must not be much different from our regular days. Finally, we hoped to carry the same spirit in keeping our homes and locality equally clean but not only for a day. 

Here is an earlier post on GHAC efforts to cleanup Khajaguda

About Author:Akhila Manne is an outdoor enthusiast and an Inquisitor, she is a researcher at IIIT Hyderabad and trainee organizer with GHAC. In her free time she likes to travel, in her words: 'I Pamper my inner senses. I savour the smell of the first rains, the sweetness of the wind chimes, brightness of the moonlit sky, touch of the soft waves- I travel'

Pictures credit: Saiteja

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