Ilka Müller-Patham was shocked to see someone throwing garbage directly into the Mula-Mutha rivers from the bridge going to Kalyani Nagar. This infuriated her as she has been in the city for the past six years only to see the condition of the river deteriorate.
“When I saw this, I was appalled and a couple sitting on the bridge told me that it was pointless, nothing would ever change and people will never listen! It just took this one event to make me want to do something about this.” With the help of social media and local connections, Müller-Patham, who runs Ilka’s, a sustainable food company, was able to connect with youth-run organisation, AIESEC in Pune, which is organising Global Goals Initiative.
The rivers’ deteriorating condition has been subject to much criticism from city-based environmental activists as the water body is covered in plastic, garbage and untreated sewage. This has made the river toxic and polluted for the marine ecosystem to thrive.
While the government continues to debate the budget allocation for the much-awaited river clean up, AIESEC and Müller-Patham have teamed up to bring together Puneites and involve them in making their city a better place to live. This initiative has been undertaken to clean up Pune as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by United Nations. “We will continue the drive and organise an event every 20 days to involve more people in the city. It can involve clean ups from rivers or land and we will even have a marathon to raise awareness about the SDGs,” says Karn Vijra, Vice President, Business Development, AIESEC Pune.
There will be a fundraiser for this event on March 30 at High Spirits Café in the evening. The clean up takes place on April 2 and will focus on collecting waste from the bank of the rivers. All volunteers joining this will be given protective gear like gloves, masks and access to first aid. The garbage will be treated by a team from Adar Poonawalla Clean City Initiative.
After the cleaning drive, all volunteers will be hosted for breakfast by High Spirits Café.This will also give a chance to volunteers to express their ideas and thoughts on sanitation as well as get to know the already existing recycling solutions that city-based environmental organisations are working on.
You can find out more about this event here.
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