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Students on dam clean-up

Ranchi, Jan. 18: The sight of little hands clearing heaps of putrid, foul-smelling garbage will soon be witnessed at the scenic Rukka Dam, barely 15km from the capital.

For, students of Classes VI to X of Lionel Edwards Bengali Boys’ High School will undertake a cleanliness drive on Sunday at the all-time favourite picnic destination of the capital residents.

The New Year picnickers, who headed out in droves for a pleasant outing by the still waters of the reservoir, had left its scenic beauty marred by plastic and filth.

The alumni association of the school has therefore come up with a voluntary initiative to restore the dam to its original state. Association secretary Debnath Ganguly said around 100 students, along with 15 teachers and 20 alumni members, would visit Rukka Dam on Sunday. “The drive aims to inculcate a sense of hygiene and spread the message of environment conservation among schoolchildren,” Ganguly said.

State tourism department has extended its support to the cause. “A proposal in this regard was forwarded to former tourism secretary Sajal Chakraborty in the first week of January and he instantly gave his go-ahead. Buses and food packets have also been sanctioned,” Ganguly said.

The new tourism secretary, Vishnu Kumar, who took charge on Wednesday, has also been informed.

Himanshu Bose, a member of the association, said the exercise would also inculcate a sense of teamwork among students. The association will carry around 100 large plastic bags (above 50 microns), 50 brooms, a dozen hand sanitisers and a loudspeaker.

“We will leave Ranchi around 8am and start the drive at 9am. It will continue till 1pm. With a loudspeaker, we will convey message of cleanliness to picnickers present on the spot. They will be urged not to deface the area by throwing disposable plates, cups, glasses and other articles,” Ganguly said.

When contacted, former tourism secretary Chakraborty appreciated the move of the alumni association.

“It’s a wonderful gesture by them. Not only will they clean the dam surroundings, but also spread green message. Such initiatives have to be supported,” Chakraborty added.