Mangaluru, Jan 4, 2017: Students are confronting those who throw garbage in public places in the city. If one is found throwing garbage on the road or in any open place, a team of specially dressed students from Swaroopa Adhyayana Kendra approach and shout “chee” at the person. Immediately surrounding him or her, the students holding a bow and pointing an arrow again shout “choo” at the person.
Then, they ask, “Have you studied in any school? Don’t you love your motherland?” Embarrassing the person, some of them soon fall at his or her feet and make him or her swear by touching a broom tied to their back that they would not repeat it.
The students end their convincing campaign by praying in front of the person, “God, let us ensure that we will not see such garbage throwers again.” It is to make the person more embarrassed and introspect on his or role in keeping public places clean.
This is one of the innovative modes adopted by the kendra for over a year in its campaign on creating awareness among people to keep public places clean.
“Our students confronted about 100 such persons on the last day of beach festival at Panambur beach on Sunday. Some took it positively and a few justified their action,” Gopadkar, the founder and director of the kendra, told The Hindu . In another mode adopted on Monday and Tuesday, the students went on asking only two questions to garbage throwers. The first one, “Whether garbage throwers [in public places] are educated or not?”. Once the individual answered the next question follows, “Have you ever thrown garbage?”
When students asked a person who threw a cigarette butt on the road in front of a shop, he justified his action and demanded that the Mangaluru City Corporation keep a bin for dumping it. Soon the shopkeeper too came in his support. The intention of the kendra, which imparts informal education to students, is to go to deep into the garbage issue and remind the people on their role in keeping the city clean. “If not all we are sure many who have been confronted by the students will introspect,” Gopadkar said.
Many citizens expressed their suggestions that similarly "Spitting" in the city should be included, and people made to realise the shame of it.