Ecofreaks strike again!

Keeping the city clean when it has a dustbin free policy is pretty hard. The Ecofreaks along with some volunteers try to do just this. This time it was Ejipura.

The Ecofreaks are at it again, this time doing a cleanup in Ejipura, Koramangala 6th Block, on a bridge over a drain that was dotted with garbage.

This particular cleanup was on an incredibly busy stretch in Koramangala, surrounded by Paying Guest houses and it seemed like nobody cared about the combined stench of the sewage river below and the garbage heap above. Perhaps this indifferent attitude inspired Vasudha Kaul and Ashutosh Garg to clean the area up, and make the place easier on the eyes as well as on the nose.

Before clean up. Pic Gaana Srinivas

 The cleanup began with the garbage being carted away from the site by a BBMP truck. Then the two founders, and a volunteer, Sheela Kabra Ladha, began working on leveling the site and removing plastic waste. After clearing the place of waste and covering it with gravel, they began to paint the place with red oxide, to make it look more orderly. They were joined by another volunteer,Nitika Goel, who helped them out with the painting process. The result was a considerably cleaner stretch on a busy street in the locality.

After clean up. Pic: Gaana Srinivas

Vasudha refers to BBMP’s no dustbin policy with saracasm “Bangalore is apparently such a clean city that it doesn’t need dustbins. It is a ‘dustbin-free’ zone.” Luckily, these guys have a great statistic – 90% of the places that they cleaned in the past have remained clean till date. Hopefully, the Ecofreaks’ dedication and enthusiasm will inspire others to join the cause of getting back Bangalore’s title of Garden City, or at least make it less smelly.

Typically they get about a dozen volunteers to do the spot fixing. But this time there were just two. Garg says it could be because of the the attitude towards waste. "Firstly, this was more of a residential area, not a public hotspot like the last few times, so nobody really came out and saw us doing it. Secondly, of course there is a stigma attached to playing with waste. During the playground cleanup, it was mostly painting and clearing leaves, so we got more volunteers."

Ecofreaks is an organisation started by Vasudha Kaul and Ashutosh Garg in January of this year, with the objective of cleaning up small areas (Spot fixing, as they call it) around the neighbourhood. The friends started the initiative in a bid to counter India’s reputation of being ‘ugly’. They function on donations and require volunteers, and are completely non-profit.

If you want to have a clean-up in your locality, the Ecofreaks can be contacted at 9986221010.

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