Earth needs environmental activists like these Telangana young guns

A group of youngsters come together to help the State’s first biodiversity heritage site in an urban area
return to its prime

Published: 10th July 2022 05:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th July 2022 02:47 PM   |  A+A-

Vinay and his friends clear out garbage from Ameenpur lake in Sangareddy district.

Vinay and his friends clear out garbage from Ameenpur lake in Sangareddy district.

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: In a world that is constantly heading towards self-destruction, public-spirited environmentalists are the beacon of hope. It could be climate activist Greta Thunberg who fired young minds into thinking about the environment or Pradeep Sangwan whose ‘Hearing Himalayas’ campaign caught on with the youth to clean up the mess created in the world’s tallest mountain ranges.

Vinay Manchala, 26,  and his group of environmental activists belong to this new genre, whose work of cleaning up Ameenpur lake has become quite infectious and has had a domino effect on the neighbouring States. An independent architect who is currently pursuing a Masters in Architecture (environmental design) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU), Vinay was inspired by Sangwan’s work and wanted to replicate the same at Ameenpur lake in Sangareddy district, recognised as the first biodiversity heritage site in an urban area.

He, along with his team of six like-minded friends started ‘Earth Needs You Project’ and has been cleaning up the floating garbage and litter around the lake since March 28, 2021, and would be completing 95 clean-up drives there by this Sunday.

He claims that over 10 tonne of garbage has been cleared by filling it in gunny bags and delivering it to municipal garbage collectors till now. The plastic and glass bottles are given to the rag-pickers. The campaign found acceptance among the youth on social media, and the result was that presently around 200 youngsters are engaged in the initiative. As the word spread, inspired by this campaign, people started similar drives at Vizag’s RK Beach, Vijayawada’s Seetanagaram Ghat, Eluru’s Pampa Cheruvu, Suryapet’s Saddula Cheruvu, and also Saroornagar Lake in Hyderabad.

Toothbrush exchange
The ‘toothbrush exchange initiative’ started by his team has also received good response. Vinay has been giving a brand new bamboo toothbrush in return to anybody giving him a used plastic toothbrush.
The bamboo brush which costs Rs 100 in the market is being given at a nominal price of Rs 25 in exchange for a used plastic one.

When asked why his team was confined only to Ameenpur lake, he said the idea was not to just going from lake to lake cleaning them one by one but to bring to the attention of the people and the authorities how important Ameenpur lake is, with regard to its biodiversity, with around 300 species of birds (mostly migrated from other countries and continents) making it their second habitat.

Moreover, he wants to change the lifestyle of the volunteers involved in the campaign. “Ethics in the people should change. Social entrepreneurship and ownership of the environment must come from within the society. Government should create awareness continuously and strictly enforce the ban,” says an enthusiastic Vinay.

AMEENPUR LAKE IN FOCUS

Vinay Manchala, 26, who is pursuing a Masters in Architecture and his group of six friends started cleaning up the Ameenpur lake through the ‘Earth Needs You Project’. Their works has inspired many others in Vizag, Vijayawada and Eluru



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