Tuesday October 15, 2019
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One-man Campaign to Collect Plastic Waste which Pollutes River

Now, at 32, he has given up his job to move back there permanently to collect plastic waste which pollutes its waters

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Bence Pardy, 32, carries plastic bags full of waste in Tiszafured, Hungary, Oct. 1, 2019. VOA

Bence Pardy spent his summers as a child by Hungary’s second main river, the Tisza. Waste.

Now, at 32, he has given up his job to move back there permanently to collect plastic waste which pollutes its waters.

The Tisza, one of the main rivers in eastern Europe, starts in Ukraine and flows across Hungary to join the Danube in Serbia. It then flows eastwards to empty into the Black Sea.

Over the past three months, working all day on his own from a small motorboat, Pardy has collected by hand plastic bottles from the river and its floodplains to fill 466 huge binbags.

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Plastic waste is seen on the River Tisza near Tiszafured, Hungary, Oct. 1, 2019. VOA

In many places there are floating waste islands made up of plastic bottles already overgrown with lush vegetation.

“We used to have a house in a nearby small village and came here for the summers. There was no waste at that time… there wasn’t this craze for plastic plates and forks,” Pardy said, picking empty bottles and plastic bags from the grass and trees hanging over the slow-moving river.

He worked as a waiter in Budapest before he moved to Tiszafured, a town nearby, and now lives in a small caravan. As his money was running out, he launched a social media campaign to raise funds for the project.

During another large-scale initiative, which he also joined, volunteers removed more than 11 tons of waste from the Tisza this summer, Pardy said.

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The waste, which also includes refrigerators, car parts and even hazardous items such as needles, is mostly washed downstream from Ukraine during flooding from the waste dumps there, he said.

“I was so shocked by this that I could not continue doing and enjoying my job and now here I am,” said Pardy.

“My sad experience is that I see anglers or the people who come for holidays and they just walk past the rubbish, and even when it is at arm’s length, they don’t pick it from the river. I am astonished to see such negligence.”

Pardy said he was determined to continue what he started.

Campaign, Plastic, Waste
Bence Pardy drives his motorboat on the River Tisza near Tiszafured, Hungary, Oct. 1, 2019. VOA

“We are getting all the warning signs, and we still do not want to change. I think we are heading into an abyss at high speed… We believe we can separate ourselves from nature, and that our actions have no consequences.”

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“I am trying to be an optimist, and yes, there are all kinds of efforts, but this is still way too little.” (VOA)

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PM Modi’s Worthwhile Campaign for Clean Environment

They are exactly like our blood vessels, or like our ceaselessly throbbing heart, kidneys and lungs

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We need to realize that all our beautiful streams, rivers, seas and oceans are as alive as our body parts.

BY SALIL GEWALI

Nothing has defiled this mother Earth but our lifestyles. Our excessive greed has long rendered its lungs sluggish and its heart weak. With each passing year, our planet is getting more feverish and paler. She often sneezes, coughs up and convulses. Therefore, I consider ones’ efforts to “decontaminate” Her is akin to an act of worshiping the Almighty. I am very much with the Hon’ble Prime Minister – Narendra Modi, for his all efforts to clean India and reduce the environmental hazards. PM Modi has very humbly requested each citizen of India to stop using plastics. We should all support him and bring it into our day to day practice. This way only our down-to-earth Prime Minister will be encouraged and we shall be blessed with a good environment.

Of course, as citizens, we must change our lifestyles. We need to realize that all our beautiful streams, rivers, seas and oceans are as alive as our body parts. They are exactly like our blood vessels, or like our ceaselessly throbbing heart, kidneys and lungs. Let’s imagine a little seriously as to what will happen if all our blood vessels “continuously” carry impure blood. Will we be able to stay healthy? No, we shall not. We shall surely develop various kind of fatal sicknesses then finally we shall die. Exactly in the same manner, if we pollute “all” our streams, rivulets, rivers, and sea they will adversely impact the whole ecosystem. Of course, in the subtle and deeper dimension all our mountains, hills, streams, rivers, vegetation are amazingly interrelated, and interdependent too. Now modern science has logically concluded that we human beings, and all our plants, animals, birds and so on are uncannily interconnected and interdependent. There is also underlying interconnection even in the “spiritual level” which the Indian ancient sages realized thousands of years ago in their intensely deep meditation.

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As citizens, we must change our lifestyles.

Probably I was not even 10-year-old when I felt a sting of pain when I suddenly noticed people dumping garbage in a gently following river. My inner being immediately pronounced it as an “unpardonable sin”. It also occurred to me that the river must be an inseparable extension of us all. My intuition was right. I encountered similar ideas in environmental studies and ancient Indian text pretty much later. What is very disgusting is that people “even now” mindlessly dump their garbage in such drains and rivulets. Is this not a big blow to the modern civilization about which we often brag at full throttle? Undoubtedly, dumping hard and soft garbage in the river is far “more dangerous” and more threatening to the environment than the use of plastics. What a disgrace that a person holds I-phone in one hand and a bucket full of trash in another and throw that in a drain/ rivulet. Is it not the heights of insanity? In fact, it should have been a serious criminal offence.

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So, keeping in view this blot of the modern civilization, it must be brought to the attention of all the concerned Ministers and higher authorities to address this serious issue. People of the country are already beaming with joy in anticipation and full of praise for PM Modi for his country-wide ban on plastic use. The “legislation is a must” to deal with such mindless folks who consider the drains and rivers as their dustbins. We already have “mountainous hazards” caused by this disgusting practice. Therefore, our dynamic leaders and conscious civil societies, and more importantly, each citizen should come together to fight the evil. The environment should not be choked by the menacing habit of idiotic people. Let’s wake up before the digital civilization goes down the drain.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.