BENGALURU: Keeping the city clean is the only motto of 39-year-old Nagaraj V, who is known as Bengaluru’s plogman. Nagaraj, who spends his morning plogging, is now carrying out the activity in different cities, like Delhi and Chennai. “Plogging is a combination of jogging and picking up trash. After Sweden started the concept in 2016, it got popular in other countries. Every day I go for morning runs and pick up dry waste strewn across roads and parks, effectively keeping the city clean and myself fit,” said the marketing manager by profession. Plastic bottles, tetra packs, liquor bottles and paper cups are the most commonly found items, he says.
A week ago, Nagaraj visited Delhi for work and decided to plog in Delhi too. While the city has no dearth of dustbins, Nagaraj was still surprised to see them empty. “People had still discarded bottles, cigarettes and paper cups everywhere. I collected about 12 kg of waste,” he recalled, adding that he witnessed the same sight near India Gate too.
Currently, Nagaraj is in Chennai and told CE that he plogged at the Marina and Elliot Beach, where many visitors often litter everywhere. “Delhi and Chennai’s state is worse than Bengaluru,” he says.However, all hope is not lost. Many who witnessed his efforts approached him and promised to start the initiative themselves too. “When I told them I was from Bengaluru, they were actually shocked. Some people in Chennai accompanied me and we did a plog run together,” he adds.
Nagaraj’s passion towards keeping cities clean can be seen through all the efforts he takes, including ditching his shoes and plogging on bare feet. “I have read that shoes do not get decomposed; they go the landfills. This, in turn, affects the city and that is why I have stopped using or buying shoes. Many think this will not bring a change now, but in the long term, it will definitely help the city,” he says.