BENGALURU : Hasiru Mithra, a group of over 100 residents of HSR Layout, is calling fellow citizens to join its endeavour to help curb the garbage menace in the city. The group, which has been undertaking initiatives such as waste clean-up drives and environment awareness programmes to improve the neighbourhood, also runs an affordable rental service for steel utensils and cutlery.
Started by three members of the group - Lalithamba Vishwanathaiah, Kavitha Reddy and Kamesh Rastogi - this initiative by Hasiru Mithra has been advocating reduced use of plastic and disposable utensils for two years. With festive occasions such as Ugadi coming up now, the group is urging people to adopt this as a solution to reducing garbage in their area.
“This was started to serve our small community, especially when small birthday parties or functions are held. Since we started this initiative along with our awareness programmes, none of the 17 black spots which we had earlier have re-emerged,” Kavitha Reddy, a member of Hasiru Mithra, said.
The activists say steel utensils are not only environment-friendly, but also save people from getting diseases like cancer due to plastic usage. “Since the city already has a massive garbage problem, we wanted to do our bit to not aggravate the issue further. So we pooled in money and bought 300 sets of steel plates, spoons, bowls, coffee mugs and glasses,” Kamesh Rastogi, the co-founder of the rental service, said.
Charging a nominal fee of Rs 1.25 per plate and Rs 1 for other items, the group now receives 12-15 orders a month, which go up to 20-22 during festive seasons. The customers pick up the order from Lalithamba’s residence and are asked to return them scrubbed and washed.Calling the initiative a success, Rastogi added, “The only challenge that we are facing is that some customers do not clean the vessels and the cutlery properly.”
The group promotes the initiative through a blog, and has also tied up with nearby restaurants to recommend their service to people who give orders for parties. “We have also offered the service free of charge just to create more awareness against plastic usage. Now, residents from Bellandur, Koramangala, JP Nagar, Sarjapur and Harlur area come to us,” Rastogi said. “We have even had people from Electronics City come all the way,” Reddy added.