Jorhat, June 5: A Jorhat-based socio-welfare organisation chose World Environment Day to wind up its monthlong anti-plastic campaign.
Armed with sewing machines and yards of cloth, members of Replica today gave away cloth and paper bags to passers-by carrying plastic bags at Baruah Chariali.
Two women sat stitching cloth bags in the area and handed them over to people carrying their belongings in plastic bags. If the item was small then a paper bag, also made on the spot, was given away.
Secretary of Replica, Rupjyoti Mahanta, said the campaign was started on May 1 at Baruah Chariali where two youths placed a banner with No Comment, The Real Theatre, written on it and began picking up plastic bags and other items. Within the week they were joined by others.
“We began our campaign against plastic, one of the greatest environmental hazards in modern times, but something on which man had come to depend on for its utility in different spheres, by spreading awareness this way. We did not coerce anyone to join us but despite rain or blazing sunshine our group grew to 14 in one week,” Mahanta said.
Besides cleaning the town of plastic, members of Replica went from shop to shop requesting the shopkeepers to give up the use of polythene in any form.
The Jorhat administration on its part held a competition among college students to clean up the town on the occasion.
The district administration in collaboration with College Students’ Unions Co-ordination Committee divided the town into 15 zones to clean each zone.
Students of various colleges participated in the clean-up drive.
Jorhat Municipal Board chairman Prasanta Borah said this would ingrain in students a sense of responsibility for the areas they had so painstakingly cleaned and spread the message to others.
In the neighbouring Golaghat district, nearly 200 participants took part in the first Kaziranga Green Marathon at the national park.
Forest minister Rakibul Hussain flagged off the 21km-marathon, which started at Bokakhat and ended at Kohora.
The event was organised to promote nature conservation and inculcate love for wildlife among the students and youths as well as the masses.
A cash prize of Rs 10,000 was presented to Shomezuddin Ahmed of Kamrup who emerged the winner.
The first and second runner-up were Bijoy Deka (Jorhat) and Robin Das (Barpeta). They received prizes of Rs 7,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.