India is all set to be a global host for the World Environment Day this year, on June 5. This year’s theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution”, is gravely important and rightly designated in this age and time. The theme is encouraging governments, communities, industries and individuals to come together in the mission to beat plastic pollution. It urges everyone to adopt sustainable ways and and alarmingly reduce production and use of single-use plastic. Not waiting for June 5, Rajeshwari Singh is already carrying out her share of responsibility. According to a report by the UN environment programme, Singh is on a walking mission to raise awareness about plastic pollution.
Walk of awareness from Vadodara to Delhi
32-year-old Rajeshwari Singh from Vadodara is on her way to Delhi. This determined woman has chosen the most difficult way to reach the capital — walking. Her journey on foot, in this scorching heat, will cover 22 major cities and more than 1,100 kilometres. The walk, which began on 22 April, will take six weeks to complete.
The reason she is able to undertake such a Herculean task is simply because she cares deeply for the environment.
The walk is to create awareness among people she meets on the way about the need to stop using plastic. Rajeshwari is also using this opportunity to raise funds for her own organisation. She contributes support in the fields of education, research and waste management. “Caravan classroom” is one such initiative by her, which supports the rag picking community in her native Vadodara.
Her theme for the walk is “My Waste, My Responsibility”
She is walking pollution-free, by avoiding any type of plastic packaged food and drinks. Rajeshwari claims that she has not used any kind of plastic for the last 10 years. She wants to inspire the same kind of behaviour among the people she meets on her walk.
The woman covers up to 30 km a day and walks in the early morning or late evening.
In between, she stays in government rest houses and interacts with people she meets there about plastic pollution and the alternatives they can use. She also visits schools to raise awareness. Rajeshwari only drinks water locally and has refused to buy plastic bottles. Sometimes people do join her for a section of her walk but most of the time she is alone. Her feet may be full with blisters, but this woman’s dauntless spirit is what keeps her going.
India – Global Host for World Environment Day
In February, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Head of UN Environment, Erik Solheim, together announced that India will be hosting the global World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June 2018.
The Government of India has committed to organising and promoting the World Environment Day celebrations through events generating strong public interest. From pan-Indian plastic clean-up drives in public areas to simultaneous beach clean-up activities, there is everything to do and lead the initiative by setting an example.
The World Environment Day programme, which began in 1972, has become a platform for public outreach. This day is for us to come together and remind each other to take ownership of our environment. This year’s theme calls out to us to to remain committed in protecting our earth and fight plastic that is polluting our oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health. Rajeshwari is doing her bit already, we all need to do ours in whatever little way that we can.
Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv