‘Will Continue My Fight Until MCC Installs CCTV Cameras near Nethravati Bridge’- Raghav Anchan

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‘Will Continue My Fight Until MCC Installs CCTV Cameras near Nethravati Bridge’- Green Warrior Nagaraj Raghav Anchan (43) coordinator of Ocean Plastic Recycling-Hasiru Dala, a NGO

Mangaluru: While most of the people are still in bed, here is a young man who wakes up by 5 am and heads towards the area near Nethravati Bridge all the way from Bajal, and stands there by the Mangaluru-Kochi National Highway for nearly 3-4 hours waving a couple of placards spreading awareness in preventing garbage littering. And this Green Warrior has been doing this for over a month standing near the Nethravati Bridge, every day in the morning from 5 am- 9 am waving his placards. And he is doing for a purpose—he is pleading with people, not to dump waste into the river. Doing this tirelessly for more than a month is Nagaraj Raghav Anchan,43, coordinator of Ocean Plastic Recycling-Hasiru Dala. His efforts seem to have paid off, as he can see positive changes.

Raghav was part of the ‘Namma Netravathi, Namma Javabdari’ Campaign Launched near Nethravati Bridge by Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation, Mangaluru and Hasiru Dala, Mangaluru, both NGO’s from 18 January 2021 until 23 January 2021. Despite the hype around the cleanliness drive after Prime Minister’s clarion call for Swaccha Bharath Abhiyan, filth is still visible on this national highway, and on other highways. With the dumping of garbage on both sides of the national highway at various locations, many a time people using the road are put to inconvenience by the stench that emanates from the garbage dumped indiscriminately. In spite of awareness on why the use of plastic should be avoided, people continue to use plastics. It forms a major chunk of the garbage dumped along the national highway. Even people have been dumping garbage from the Nethravathi Ullal bridge into the running river below, in spite of a sign posted nearby not to dump the garbage.

In order to bring awareness and prevent people from discarding waste near and into the Nethravati River, Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation and HASIRU DALA- both NGO’s had launched the ‘Namma Netravathi, Namma Javabdari’ Campaign, an initiative supported by Mangaluru City Corporation and Ullal Nagara Sabha, with an aim to help reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. A large number of volunteers from different organizations, including police students had joined in the campaign to create awareness among the people to desist from dumping waste into the river. Even though the campaign ended on 23 January, since then Raghav took up a one-man fight to stop people throwing the waste, and he is seen daily in the morning fighting for a good cause.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Raghav said, “During a survey for an ocean plastic recycling project for Anti Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation and Hasiru Dala, along with Vanishree, about two months ago, I found the area near Kallapu bus stand as one of the hotspots for the dumping of garbage. People travelling towards Mangaluru from surrounding areas, find it convenient to carry waste when travelling in a vehicle and throw it away at this point. Initially, I spent a few days watching people and trying to understand what was prompting people to carry waste all the way to this point. I then tried to educate them on how wet waste can be managed at homes,”.

He further said, “Meanwhile, APD Foundation and Hasiru Dala jointly organised a six-day awareness campaign from 6 am to 9 am from January 18-23, at the Nethravathi Bridge, urging people not to throw waste into the river. For me, the campaign did not end there, and I decided to continue standing near the bridge every day between 5.30 am and 9 am, after which I travel to Mangaluru for work. Waste, including plastic, is being dumped here for decades, and cleaning up this place properly, is definitely a challenge”.

“On February 28, along with the support of the urban local body, we will be organising a cleanliness drive. The city corporation has assured us to provide us with men and a vehicle. Dumping garbage at least till the time I am standing there has stopped, but few people manage to throw garbage late at night. We have asked the urban local body to install CCTV cameras at this spot so that those who are dumping waste can be caught red-handed and penalised. We have also identified other similar spots in Mangaluru, and once CCTV cameras are installed here, I plan to stand with a placard at Kulur bridge. My fight will continue standing alone near this Nethravati bridge area until MCC installs CCTV cameras, which could cover a stretch of 1 km from Kallapu to Nethravati bridge,” said Raghav.

Raghav is a BA graduate from Narayan Guru College in Mangaluru, and presently manages a stationary material shop in Bajal, and is actively involved as recycling coordinator with Ocean Plastics. Determined and committed, even though he has been operated on both legs and back while he was a sportsman, yet he continues to accomplish his mission. While people have stopped dumping garbage by the roadside, many being ignorant still toss waste across the road railing. The majority of those littering the area were working class who would leave home early while garbage collection by local administration was done at around 11 am, as per Raghav.

According to Raghav, Hasiru Dala – APD Foundation are having a clean-up drive as a part of Namma Nethravati, Namma Javabdari project. The campaign will be held on Sunday, 28th February 2021 from 6 am to 11 am. Teams of volunteers will assemble near Nethravathi Bridge and clear the old trash near the waters before it is washed away to the ocean during the monsoon. Different organizations which are associating with the campaign are: Abhisaran Academy of Education and Sports Trust, Parisara Samrakshana Nagarika Okkuta, Ullal, Nadi Parisara Abhiyana Samithi, Ullal, Big Bang Group, Journey Theater Group, Antony Waste Handling Cell, Mangalore, Team Bozsky Orbs and student volunteers of Aloysius College, Roshini Nilaya and National Service Scheme (NSS).

The event is supported by Mangaluru City Traffic police-Members of the public are welcome to join in this campaign to prevent pollution of River Nethravati and the ocean.

For further details contact:

· Ms Vanishree B. R. (Convener, APD Foundation): Mobile: 87621 62036
· Mr Nagraj Ragav Anchan (Convener, Hasiru Dala): Mobile: 9663506158

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