Not everyone has the courage to stand for what they believe in and not everyone turns their beliefs into actions.
One boy from Shillong chose to tread the path that’s often ignored.
Nangjop Thabah took to the garbage-littered streets in the hill city with the intent of de-littering the environment, kickstarting the #NoLitterShillong campaign on June 26.
Wearing gloves and collecting garbage one street at a time, the 24-year-old’s mission is a conscious decision towards conserving the environment.
“There was always this persistent feeling within myself about making a difference in society. I often found places littered and then wondered about how something had to be done. I belong to the Khasi community and we take great pride in our cleanliness. But it was more like only preaching but doing nothing,” he says.
Taking to social media to raise more awareness, Nangjop found immediate and positive responses well within the first day of the lone mission.
“I realized that instead of waiting for change to happen, why not begin with myself. Moreover, starting from a local level will only act as an imperative to take on greater possibilities. So, I thought of starting with my own neighbourhood, where the streets were pretty filthy due to dumping of garbage. Following which I could slowly reach out to other neighbourhoods as well”, he remarked.
Though the capital city of Meghalaya is probably one of the few cities in the country that practiced waste segregation, even before the launch of the Swachh Bharat Campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nangjop believes a lot more could be done if common people involve themselves towards managing the menace of littering. His belief resulted in the #NoLitterShillong campaign.
So on Monday, Nangjop with a pair of latex gloves and two dozen large garbage bags started off picking up pieces of paper and plastic strewn along the road and on drains.
Funnily enough, some people, when they saw him clear the garbage, suspected his intention and went on to even question it.
Upon using social media to reach out, Nangjop says, “Shillong is a small town where mostly everyone knows the other person. Probably, that was the reason why I thought that if my initiative is able to inspire more people, we could work collectively towards keeping the city clean.”
You can reach out to Nangjop Thabah on 9176571597 or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.