Vivek Gurav, a software engineer who is just 25 years old has taken an initiative to clean the city through plogging.
Initially, Vivek like all of us blamed the government for the dirt in the city. But later he realized that as a citizen it is also his duty to keep his city clean.
Vivek had shifted to Pune to study engineering at MIT academy. While going on evening walks with friends around the river Indrayani, he saw a lot of people carelessly dumping wastes in the river and the surrounding areas.
This made him appeal to his friends to join him in cleaning the river. With the support of a few friends, Vivek started his Indrayani River clean-up mission. Over years, he noticed a change in people’s behaviour. The littering had now reduced. After college, he decided to clean public spaces too.
Vivek has been picking up trash every day during his morning walk or jogging. Initially, people called him Kachdawala, but that didn’t seem to affect him. To get rid of the taboo, Gurav has now involved more people in his little plogging community and has christened the community as Pune Ploggers. He has now attracted over 4,000 people across the country.
More than 5,000 tonnes of waste has been collected through various campaigns. The waste is segregated or recycled by sending it to local Kabadiwalas. Thus, involving them in the community too.
Vivek Gurav has received several awards including REX Karamveer Chakra and Indian Youth Award. He also represented India at the MYWorld2030 Asia-Pacific Advocacy Programme. An initiative led by UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub and United Nations SDG Action Campaign.
Now, Vivek is involved in afforestation at Dighi Hills where he and his friends have collected over a thousand beer bottles which have been sent to processing plants for recycling.