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Pink City Goes Green
April 08, 2013 COMMENT comment
     
Pink City Goes Green
Avi Dandiya
 
If you want to see your city clean and green, stop blaming others. Act and vow to make cleanliness your mission. We are connecting with people so that each and every locality can take care of the mess with the help of the core group.
 
Tired of the filth in my hometown, Jaipur, and the attitude of the people towards garbage disposal, I had an idea. A majority of people were tired and unhappy with the way things were but unable to do something proactive. So, I created an event page on Facebook asking people to come forward and take up the initiative of cleaning the city.
The response actually surprised me as the page went viral. Within hours hundreds of people had pledged their support. Thus was born Team Clean Jaipur (TCJ) on December 9, 2012. Taking the initiative for a positive cause brought like-minded people together who are now totally committed to cleanliness.
 
TCJ is probably one of its kind as it has no formal organisation or structure and still functions as one cohesive unit. The threads of mutual respect and teamwork tie the members together and keep them working for the cause of cleaning the city and more importantly keeping it clean through awareness drives.
 
I like to call the cleaning events as 'Festivals of Cleaning' as it is only cleanliness that can spread actual cheer. Ever since the first festival, things have moved very fast on all fronts for TCJ as it is called by one and all now in the Pink City.
 
The campaign functions on a very simple but profound philosophy: "Don't blame others, instead just figure out how you can make things better and invite everyone to join you." A core team was formed by mutual consent of volunteers, who coordinate the various logistics. TCJ has more than 2,000 members as of today with more registering themselves daily.
 
I was surprised at the support pouring in from all quarters but what really came as a surprise was the support and appreciation by the administration for our festivals and efforts. I had an idea and I believed in it. Protests and marches might fail but a positive idea will take root and grow on its own.
 
TCJ works on two fronts: Clean the area and work with administration along with the people of that area in keeping it clean. Spreading awareness about cleanliness till the time it becomes a habit is important. Radio jingles, slides at cinema halls, e-mails, school drives, and more, are a part of TCJ plans to wake the city up to clean and healthy living. We are trying to connect with people in every locality and making teams so that each locality can take care of this mess with the help of the core management group. We work on the simple belief that citizens and administration working together can achieve miracles.
 
We have maintained a database of all registered people who fill up indemnity forms and there is a proper procedure followed. People under 18 are not allowed for any events. Safety is paramount and the cleaning festivals are a beautiful combination of teamwork, dedication, commitment, discipline and fun. We get e-mails and telephone calls asking details about the functioning and many enquiries by people who are willing to join in.
 
Barely a month old, TCJ has already shown a positive change in the walled city, the administration and people working together can bring a change, the proof lies with TCJ. We believe that each and every aware citizen of Jaipur is its member and '100 per cent' cleanliness can be achieved provided the citizens decide and act on it.

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