Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

The community-led movement grew into the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), a non-profit wildlife conservation and habitat restoration group. VOA

With an environmental crisis looming over the planet, is the way out community-led? Two cleaning initiatives in India, targeting heavily-visited – and littered – mountains and beaches, show how civic conviction can turn into an on-ground impact that ropes in local stakeholders.

‘Bringing back our old Dadar beach’ was the simple phrase motivating Chinu Kwatra, 28, when he first picked up garbage from the squalid Dadar beach two years ago — the first step of removal of more than 2,000 tonnes of garbage — and set the ball rolling for a community-led beach cleanup.

Recalling the episode, Maharashtra’s Thane-based Kwatra told IANS how momentous changes begin small. For his collective Beach Warriors, it began with a day-long cleanup drive after he saw ‘visarjit’ (immersed) Ganesha idols everywhere on the beach.

A Facebook post about it travelled to an old professor, who then suggested that they extend it beyond a day. However, even in the campaign’s second week, it was the same three people doing back-breaking work to free Dadar beach of its detritus. “I felt I will lose the battle if more citizens didn’t join us,” said Kwatra, who quit his job to take up community work.

There are an average of 20 volunteers cleaning each of the seven beaches they work on — Cuffe Parade, Worli, Bandra, Juhu, Erangal, Madh, and Dadar. Wikimedia Commons

To Kwatra’s surprise, it wasn’t long before local support started pouring in the form of students and “within an hour, from three the number rose to 25”, and then, attracted even more. What involved just two of his friends at first, propelled many communities into action. The team now gets volunteers from organisations, corporate houses, schools and colleges.

The social changemaker leads a core team of 40 Beach Warriors. There are an average of 20 volunteers cleaning each of the seven beaches they work on — Cuffe Parade, Worli, Bandra, Juhu, Erangal, Madh, and Dadar, he said.

Inviting other people to step forward in their respective communities, Kwatra said that they aren’t doing “anything great” but only what “every citizen must do”, regardless of administrative intervention.

Kwatra said he was inspired by Afroz Shah, an environmentalist and lawyer, who led another set of volunteers cleaning Mumbai’s Versova beach — often termed as the world’s largest beach cleanup drive. It has removed thousands of tonnes of waste from Versova beach. Kwatra has now trained his eyes on cleaning up the highly-polluted Yamuna river in Delhi.

Workers from a recycling company load garbage collected and brought from Mount Everest, in Kathmandu, Nepal, June 5, 2019. VOA

In the northern part of India, another cleanup drive targets mountains. Trekking enthusiast Pradeep Sangwan, who leads a similar volunteer-driven cleaning initiative in the Himalayan cities, advocates for sustainable tourism along with encouraging communities to step forward for damage control. His collective Healing Himalayas Foundation, founded in 2016, collects garbage from trekking routes and areas around waterfalls.

Having worked around Manali, Kheerganga, Shimla, and more recently, Shrikhand, the sustained campaign has been vocal about reducing the carbon footprint and plastic waste tourists leave around, to the extent that “if a lost trekker follows the litter trail during a trek, she could find the group”.

ALSO READ: Nepal Conducts Month-Long Cleaning Campaign to Convert Mount Everest Trash into Treasure

Speaking about their cleanup drive around Manali’s Jogini Waterfalls, Sangwan told IANS that it was relegated from a space for meditative activities to “a party place”. “Simply, the campaign is about saving waterfalls from becoming a big dump-yard. We organise regular cleaning drives and educating local communities and schools.”

Like Kwatra, Shah and several other community-oriented change-makers, Sangwan too stresses the importance of a collective change that takes birth within people’s hearts and shows in their actions. “It is really about exploring spaces with empathy, and sense of preservation and sustainability,” he strongly believes. (IANS)


Photo by Ilayza Macayan on Unsplash

Bullying may occur anywhere, at any time, in person or online (cyberbullying), and can take many forms, including verbal, physical, and social.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is a pattern of recurrent aggressive behavior in which one person (or a group of individuals) in a position of authority intentionally intimidate or abuse another individual to cause bodily or emotional harm to that other. Bullying may take place in either a physical or verbal manner. Bullied individuals, as well as those who bully others, may have long-term repercussions.

Bullying may occur anywhere, at any time, in person or online (cyberbullying), and can take many forms, including verbal, physical, and social. Bullies utilize their position of power — such as physical strength, knowledge of something embarrassing, or popularity — to exert control over or damage other people. Many people assume that bullying occurs solely during childhood; nevertheless, bullying does not necessarily stop after a person reaches the age of adulthood.

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Copper earrings

Silver and gold have always been preferred when it comes to wearing jewellery. Right from the times of monarchy in India, wealth and riches have been associated with wearing gold and silver for the various properties they have. Copper is a metal that has always been worn by the poor. It is not a metal that carries a significant association with health or wealth, but wearing at least one article of copper is extremely beneficial for health.

Copper is a reddish-brown metal that cannot be worn on its own. It has to be worn in the form of an alloy to prevent a reaction. Copper oxidizes in air and forms a green layer on it when exposed, much like the Statue of Liberty. Usually, bangles, chains, or rings of copper always have brass and traces of silver in them which helps with stabilizing its reactivity.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Brian Kostiuk on Unsplash

Traditional players are very strong in the consumer laptop market.

By Md Waquar Haider

When popular smartphone brands like Xiaomi and realme entered the laptop market in India last year, they were expected to shake the existing giants, specifically under the Rs 50,000 category. However, chip shortage and supply crunch have somewhat dented their plans to make a significant mark to date. According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. The first one is a massive supply crunch in the laptop component market and only big brands are able to get volume and supplies.

The other factor is that the traditional players are very strong in the consumer laptop market. Top 3 players control more than 70 per cent of the market and strong portfolio, distribution, and channel reach as well as brand marketing has helped them massively. "New brands can surely make a dent in the consumer laptop market but are challenged by supply issues right now. Watch out for them in 2022 as and when supply situation eases up," Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India told IANS.

Dominated by HP Inc, Lenovo and Dell, the traditional PC market (inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations) in India continued to be robust as the shipments grew by 50.5 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in the second quarter (Q2), according to IDC. Notebook PCs continue to hold more than three-fourth share in the overall category and grew 49.9 per cent YoY in 2Q21, reporting a fourth consecutive quarter with over 2 million units. Desktops also indicated a recovery as shipments grew 52.3 per cent YoY after recording the lowest shipments of the decade in 2Q20.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, driven by the pandemic and the associated accelerated pivot to remote work, learn and unwind culture, PCs have been witnessing heightened demand. "Despite the current supply chain constraints, PCs are here to stay in the new never normal. In the run-up to the festive season, established PC market leaders will continue to leverage their brand salience and gain market share," Ram told IANS.

a computer chip close up According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. | Photo by Manuel on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less