This cleanliness warrior resigned from his job to take the battle against garbage to cars, autorickshaws, buses, and other vehicles. His car trash bins will give income to slum dwellers while helping keep our roads clean.
India is developing fast — roads are jammed with cars, cellphones are ubiquitous, and there is talk of smart cities emerging all over the country.
But are we behaviourally developed as a nation? We still lack civic sense and spit on walls, we don’t show up for our appointments on time, we deface our historical landmarks, we rarely stick to queues when waiting, and we litter our streets indiscriminately.
Abhishek Marwaha was one of us until three years ago when he read somewhere: ‘”A person who throws his trash actually throws his humanity.”
He then started making a conscious effort to keep his surroundings clean. His friends made fun of him when he kept dumping used tissues in his pockets or in car back pockets while travelling, instead of throwing them outside the window.
“I used to work in a travel technology firm and travelling to different countries used to be part of my job profile. I realized that we are more conscious of our habits when abroad (like littering, spitting, honking, etc.) but we tend to be careless when we are here in India. So all we need to do is one simple thing to bring a wave of change. Let’s behave in our own country the way we behave in any other foreign country,” says Abhishek.
One day, while having lunch, he found that his lunch bag was worn and could be used as a trash bin in his car. The idea stayed with him and he began to design a trash bin that is easily accessible in a car or any vehicle, even while driving. Once the design was ready, he started making cheap trash bins in bulk and contacting vendors.
This mission to keep India clean has today resulted in the launch of Abhishek’s online store, ujosho.com, which sells the first ever car trash bins in India.
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The word UJosho is derived from the Japanese word ‘josho,’ which means ever victorious. Abhishek added a ‘U’ to indicate that we can all be victorious in the battle against littering if we do our bit to keep the nation clean.
“There are an estimated 25 million cars in any Tier 1 city in India. The problem of garbage will continue to haunt us as the trash thrown from cars chokes the roadside drains and contributes to water logging and floods during rains. There is an immediate need to educate and encourage people to use this simple trash bin in their cars so that many of these issues can be resolved without intervention of civic authorities and with proper and positive participation from each one of us,” adds Abhishek
The car trash bins that Abhishek sells are not machine made. He aims to provide earnings to slum dwellers by getting them to make these trash bins by hand in bulk.
He has also experimented with giving away these bins to beggars for free and was delighted to see them selling these to car owners at traffic signals.
“You don’t have to hold a gun at the border and save the country to be truly patriotic. You can bring about change by changing yourself, your habits and your surroundings. Even if 10% of our population shares this view, it can make a difference. Maybe what I am doing is minuscule, but it will hit the root cause of the trash problem,” Abhishek says with great zeal.
According to Abhishek, installing and using the trash bin in vehicles will be good because:
1) It will help bring about a behavioral change among adults and children with respect to cleanliness, littering and spitting.
2) It will support civic authorities in ensuring optimum use of manpower in cleaning roads.
3) Trash chokes the roadside drains and contributes to water logging and floods during rains. Car trash bins will help prevent that.
Though the car trash bin is a first-of-its-kind product, Abhishek does not want to patent the idea as he wants it to spread widely. He wants other people to replicate it and make it more cost effective if possible.
“We also encourage people to share their ideas about cleanliness on the ‘Idea’ section of our website. If we are able to make a product from that idea, we will then give royalty on every sale of that product,” says Abhishek
To know more about Abhishek and his products, you can visit www.ujosho.com