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Gen Z cleans coal hub mess

- Led by ISM, 1000 schoolchildren get hands dirty for a tidy republic

Brooms replaced books and pens were traded for plastic gloves as school students, led by their seniors from ISM-Dhanbad, took to the streets to spruce up coal town neighbourhoods on Saturday.

The cleanliness drive, organised by ISM students’ society Fast Forward India in association with Dhanbad chapter of Let’s Do It on Republic Day, was aimed at inculcating a sense of social responsibility among Gen Z. It was also a curtain-raiser to Srijan 2k13 — the tech cradle’s three-day festival from March 14.

Over 1,000 students of five Dhanbad schools — De Nobili, Carmel, DAV Public, DPS, and Indian School of Learning, ISM annexe — joined hands with 100 from the mining cradle to clean places like Jayprakash Nagar, Jharudih, Karmik Nagar, Koylanagar and Dhaiya.

The day began as early as 8am at De Nobili, with over 30 volunteers from ISM, led by third-year BTech electrical student Vibhor Agarwal, arriving at the school.

As many as 200 plastic gloves and sacks were distributed among the same number of students from Classes VI to XII, who then got into action at Jayprakash Nagar after attending the R-Day flag hoisting function.

“We collected plastic bags, paper and gutkha pouches in sacks during the half-an-hour operation and appealed to local residents to throw garbage only in dustbins and not on the road,” said third-year ISM student Avinav Peshwani, who is the co-ordinator of the event.

All volunteers of ISM as well as students of De Nobili sported badges of Let’s Do It, which were made out of used papers to spread the message of recycling. “We also brought used sacks of potatoes and other articles,” said Agarwal.

There were also frenetic activities at Carmel School and DPS, where two separate teams with 25 volunteers each arrived around 9.30am. While 150 girls of Classes VI to XII of Carmel School participated in the drive at Jharudih area, around 50 students of DPS got busy at Karmik Nagar.

DPS principal K.B. Bhargava and other teachers also took keen interest. “We urged betel shop owners of Karmik Nagar to keep their own dustbins so that they can dump cigarette packets, gutkha pouches and other items there,” said third-year mining engineering student Varun Pandey, who led the team.

The other squad was headed by Amit Chopra, a third-year student of math and computing at ISM.

Two other teams worked with students of Indian School of Learning, ISM annexe, and DAV Public School, Koylanagar. More than 300 students were engaged in the drive near Koylanagar while Dhaiya was cleaned by more than 150 students of Indian School of Learning.

“Elders should show the way to children by practising what they preach. If we tell others to do something, but don’t do it ourselves, obviously juniors won’t listen to us. Hence, we decided to organise the cleanliness drive on our own so that school students, as well as others, learn to keep their own surroundings clean,” said Peshwani.

The ISM students plan to spread the message of social responsibility and leadership through other programmes like workshops scheduled during Srijan 2K13.

Can such initiatives educate citizens about civic duties? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com