The World Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (WCARP) in partnership with the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) held a massive Cleaning Campaign in and around heritage sites in New Delhi to commemorate the International Day of Climate Action on 24th October. In association with 350 and Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN), this drive targeted areas of Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Tughlaqabad Fort. More than 650 students from colleges of DU, JNU and Jamia Milia Islamia pitched in to clean the areas surrounding these heritage sites.
Says Sandeep Kumar, President of WCARP, “This cleanliness drive was a huge success. We had never imagined that so many students would be interested. In fact, a group of students asked me to conduct such a drive for bus stops and railway platforms as well. I could see a spark in the youth of this country to outdo the authorities and make Delhi a cleaner place to live in. Some students were extremely enthusiastic and wanted to take on the responsibility of keeping these monuments clean.”
The students were provided with broomsticks, gloves, chemicals and brushes to effectively do their job for the day and were also given free T-shirts and refreshments. Most students found it to be a highly enjoyable experience. Medha, a student volunteer says, “It was a memorable and satisfying day. We could actually be a part of the change in this country. Moreover it was an enlightening experience for me as well. Though I’m a Delhiite, I didn’t know there are as many as 174 monuments in my city.”
The key message of this drive was to “avoid plastic” and change the mindset of the people. The positive response to the initiative has led to plans for a second such attempt. “Upon request by the students, another drive is being organized on the 19th of November, 2009 at Purana Quila.”, says Sandeep. “So everyone who believes in the cause and missed out on this drive has another opportunity to pro-actively help change their world, be it in a small way.”