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Vikram Shahi - Primary Short-listed Nominee - Social Volunteer Awards 2021

As a resident of Mumbai's slum for the past 22 years, I witnessed a lot of dirt around my surroundings and a river filled with garbage. Even though people are attempting to change the situation, no progress is being made. Having been inspired by the stories about the Swachh Bharat Mission and experiencing the effects of unclean surroundings first-hand, I decided to become a volunteer. At first, weekend cleanups took place for 2 hours with a beach cleanup initiative, followed by mangroves and another area cleanup. As a volunteer, my desire to lead and my zeal to work made it clear to me that a cleanup alone would not prove successful; people needed to be aware. As I began working on awareness, I brought together many volunteers with similar viewpoints. My goal now is to expand these cleanup initiatives, awareness, and waste management programs throughout the city, and leverage the support of our civic groups. Furthermore, we are trying to engage students and train them to file civic complaints. Swachh Bharat can only be achieved when people realize their responsibility towards society and change their mindset.


VOLUNTEERING FOR ME

For me, volunteering is like a body without a soul. To take volunteering forward after investing so much time, effort, and passion into engaging with and supporting the cause I believe in, it is essential that I am motivated to do so.


VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY

Believes in Peace and humanity and constantly working for a social cause for the past five years. My ambition and career goals are to be a part of change management to scale and enable the youth to contribute to society's needs, which works primarily in volunteering and its practical implementation at the grassroots. My long-term goal is to bring the world a step closer while aiming to make India a superpower and contribute to the global wellbeing of society. Because if we won't, who will?

Having been inspired by the stories about the Swachh Bharat Mission and experiencing the effects of unclean surroundings first-hand, I decided to become a volunteer, and my journey started with 2 hours of volunteering.


VOLUNTEERING STORY

As a resident of Mumbai's slum for the past 22 years, I witnessed a lot of dirt around my surroundings and a river filled with garbage. Despite the fact that people are attempting to change the situation, no progress is being made. Having been inspired by the stories about the Swachh Bharat Mission and experiencing the effects of unclean surroundings first-hand, I decided to become a volunteer. At first, weekend cleanups took place for 2 hours with a beach cleanup initiative, followed by mangroves and another area cleanup. As a volunteer, my desire to lead and my zeal to work made it clear to me that a cleanup alone would not prove successful; people needed to be aware. As I began working on awareness, I brought together many volunteers with similar viewpoints. As a result of the recognition and respect, my peers and organizations gave me, and I felt more confident in my abilities. The event was made a success thanks to the help of organizations such as Bisleri, Bottle for Change, Aakar Mumbai, and BMC. My goal now is to expand these cleanup initiatives, awareness, and waste management programs throughout the city and leverage the support of our civic groups. Furthermore, we are trying to engage students and train them to file civic complaints. Swachh Bharat can only be achieved when people realize their responsibility towards society and change their mindset. The journey began with a tiny kitten I saw on Janata's curfew day that lost her mother, but no one cared for her. Everyone ignored her. Because I had no experience with stray animals and my parents were not animal lovers, I was powerless to help her. I called the animal organization to rescue this kitten but didn't receive support from them. I brought the kitten home, but it was in poor condition, and she died the next day. I was very disappointed that I could not save her life, and I decided to change public perception of why stray animals are so essential. The next day, I started spending time with homeless animals and saw the heartbreaking fact that they don't get adequate food to eat. I saw them eating sanitary pads, diapers, dead rats, pops, garbage, etc., and this was shocking to me. I started a feeding campaign to serve humanity and spread awareness among locals to feed stray animals in their community. I began by providing 5 to 7 strays until they reached 250 homeless animals daily.


PROJECT Beach Cleanup & Waste Management


ORGANISATION Bhumi


MISSION & VISION

Through multiple cleanup drives, including beach cleanups, my team and I have removed approximately lakh's kgs of garbage, including plastic and other waste, from beaches, mangrove areas, and public areas. Then, I took the lead in more drives and initiated awareness programs to reach out to potential volunteers and people whose lives were affected by these unclean surroundings. More than 8000 volunteers contributed to spreading awareness for the cause and making a more significant impact on the cause. Our research identified rivers and sewage as the primary culprits of plastic deposition on beaches. Many societies have implemented compulsory slum waste separation, which prevents most plastic waste from finding its way to the environment via waterways. We began spreading awareness of waste management and frequently collected dry waste from slums while educating them about zero waste. The next step after cleaning many areas was afforestation, which I volunteered for, along with tree plantations and making seed balls. Involved in Nakshatra, our annual sports/feast for underprivileged children, as security coordinator and developed many skills. It was an honor to work with Bhumi, an organization that supported and appreciated my contribution.


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

By regularly holding Cleanups and collecting plastics, the public began to engage and become a part of our movements. In order to identify the problems, we began contacting community members, such as nearby families and civic workers. We were able to put on street plays and talk with these people about the uncleanness in their surroundings and how it adversely affects their health and their children. Besides providing them with alternatives, we trained them to file a civil complaint and encourage them to use home goods and reusable bags. In our drive for permissions, and assistance with drives, the civic authorities such as BMC and TMC cooperated. In order to reach and spread awareness concerning cleanliness, there was a big obstacle, but they didn't get any traction. To the best of our ability, we tried to assist them with this. Kids and students can learn how to save the future by taking part in our best out of waste workshops. Furthermore, they are a significant influence in the household to limit the use of plastic, as well as to prevent adults from using excessive amounts of plastic.


LENGTH OF SERVICE

Our Beach cleanup project started on 17-02-2018 and is ongoing with multiple subprojects such as Swachh Kandivali, Mangroves Cleanup, Thane Cleanup, Aksa Beach Cleanup, and plastic collection drive.


ROLE IN PROJECT

I have initiated a beach cleanup project as an operation coordinator and currently leading beach cleanup and multiple projects in the city.


IMPACT OF PROJECT

It is important that we create awareness programs in order to create long-term support for these clean-up causes. Our campaign will not succeed unless we employ prevention and alternatives. In addition to paper bag making, waste diversion workshops, and various recycling programs, we also focus on the importance of segregation. Additionally, a frequent door-to-door collection of dry waste will be undertaken to ensure the complete removal of plastics from garbage as well as to connect local recycling centers.

Similarly, we work with civic bodies so that after cleaning these places, we take measures to prevent littering. Students with college and school backgrounds are most likely to be hired, so future generations won't be faced with similar obstacles. In order to create long-term solutions, volunteers come up with creative ways to reuse plastic, dispose of garbage in the right way, and create campaigns to promote and generate awareness of these alternatives.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • GOAL 13: Climate Action

  • GOAL 14: Life Below Water

  • GOAL 15: Life on Land


ACHIEVEMENTS

  • As a Volunteer, I am enjoying my life.


FUTURE PLANS

My goal now is to expand these cleanup initiatives, awareness, and waste management programs throughout the city, and leverage the support of our civic groups. Furthermore, we are trying to engage students and train them to file civic complaints. Swachh Bharat can only be achieved when people realize their responsibility towards society and change their mindset.


REFERENCE: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MBEO_S1oO2jHw5o1mIANP3imjWiYMDbT?usp=sharing


Are you an aspiring volunteer, put your ideas into action at

National Volunteers Hackathon 2021

www.socialsolutionsindia.in/national-volunteers-hackathon-2021


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