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One World, One Day, One Aim
By BIS Bangalore
Mumbai, Sep. 27. Polar ice caps, the ozone layer, the great garbage patch, greenhouse effects, and carbon footprints are some of the issues keeping world leaders at the United Nations in a huddle in their bid to protect the planet from an environmental catastrophe.

At a more macro level, efforts are underway to spark a green revolution. In the forefront of this green movement in India are the Salesians of Don Bosco. On September 15, marked as the World Clean Up Day, citizens from around the world and India, in particular, joined forces to combat the problem of solid waste which included marine debris, mismanaged solid waste such as litter and illegal dumpsites, along with it's associated environmental and social problems.

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The day was set aside to raise global awareness and to implement lasting changes to end the global waste epidemic, once and for all. Being a socially responsible organisation, the Don Bosco network from Bangalore Province joined in the effort towards the ambitious goal: 'to help save the planet from trash' as a humble beginning in showing responsibility towards planet Earth.

The Don Bosco institutions in Karnataka and Kerala under BREADS (Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society) Bangalore initiated regional level clean up movements in eight districts in Karnataka and in one district of Kerala by building strong local partnerships.

Among a series of activities conducted was Don Bosco, Hospet, a movement whereby residents of Hallikere village, Kamalapura of Hospet Taluk were made aware of the need for cleanliness and segregation of waste. Eighty youth, teachers and parents from the Government Higher Primary School participated in cleaning the school campus and compound walls and in removing the waste littered near the walls.

At Don Bosco, Bidar, the staff and volunteers took the initiative to clean BRIMS Hospital at Bidar. The people were also given the message to combat the global issue rising as a threat against the sustainability of the planet.

At BOSCO Bangalore, BOSCO Nilaya, Nivas and BOSCO Life Skill Training Centre, Sumanahalli organised World Clean-Up Day in their working areas and at the Centre. The children from Child Rights Club under the CREAM Project, and the staff - including the tuition teachers - gathered to organise a rally on the streets by holding placards and shouting slogans to create awareness about clean surroundings and environment. Participants removed the garbage that was littered outside the school premises.

The eco-enthusiasts also highlighted the theme of the day by painting environment related quotes on the compound walls. Participants pledged that they would take up the 'clean up mission' on a day-to-day basis to keep their homes and environment clean and also propagate the message to others.

With the help of the public address system, residents were made aware of the damaging consequences of garbage spill, given that it acts as a breeding ground for several disease-causing microbes, polluting air and land and thus become hazardous to human life.

At CHITHRA Don Bosco, Chitradurga, staff, tuition teachers and Skill Training students organised a campaign mainly in two parks of the city. Local dignitaries, including the newly elected Councillor, was invited. They then distributed roses, thereby urging travellers to clean their environment and thus to protect the ozone layer.  

Twenty-five participants - including staff and students - of Don Bosco Chullikkara - joined the World Clean Up Day activities under the leadership of Brother Paul Gopurathinkal, by cleaning the brook that flows along Chullikkara and a trash dump.

At DBCLM Davangere, the staff and youth came together to rid the premises of Don Bosco Child Labour Mission (DBCLM) of trash.

At Don Bosco Makkalalaya, Mysore, 150 children joined members from the Mysore Corporation and the District Commissioner to conduct a clean-up drive at N R Mohalla Shivaji Park. The public was also educated on the need to reduce the use of plastic on a daily basis.  

At Don Bosco, Deodurga, 250 people - including students, teachers, and Gram Panchayat members - organised a rally to spread awareness among people about the importance of clean-up day and the need for keeping the surroundings clean. The children put their words in action by cleaning the surroundings of the school, Primary Health Care Centre and the roads adjacent to the school. They collected and disposed of garbage found on roads.

At Don Bosco Yuva Marg, Ramanagara in Balagere's Ramanagara town, a rally, and public gathering were organised to emphatically convey the message of the importance of environment conservation through proper and scientific management of waste. The possible ways to reduce the use of plastic, reuse and recycle was also highlighted as part of the campaign.

Our planet is now - more than ever before - in need of a helping hand to sustain future generations. It is the responsibility of the current generation to ensure that the future is perfect. Don Bosco institutions in Karnataka and Kerala - like in other parts of the country and world - have led the way towards ensuring a sustainable future through eco-friendly initiatives. The onus is now on society to join the chorus to save our home.  


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