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Kashmiri Youth In Tourist Town Tackle Waste

An environment lover in J&K’s Anantnag district is recruiting volunteers to help clean his town of trash.

A progressive society is the culmination of constant hard work both by the government and civil society. Society cannot arrive at progressive central -  it is an eternal journey, and just like human beings, societies, too, are an always work in progress.

An incidentally ubiquitous feature of most Indian cities from New Delhi to Lucknow to Shillong to Goa is the piles of trash lining roads or creating hills in unoccupied spaces. This trashy situation is the culmination of government inadequacy as well as citizen apathy. The popular tourist destination of Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) Anantnag district, where a young man leads a voluntary environment group, is no different.

Community Correspondent Rayees Ahmad reported on Majid Squad, founded by Abdul Majid, which organises regular clean-ups in Pahalgam, neighbouring towns, as well as along the Amarnath Yatra route. Abdul has realised that the solution of solving a community problem lies in community action.

“You’ll be shocked to see how dirty the Amarnath yatra route is. Even Anantnag town is probably less dirty,” says Abdul Majid, one of the co-founders of Majid Squad. The Amarnath Yatra is a yearly pilgrimage to Amarnath cave, a Hindu shrine in J&K, undertaken by pilgrims from across India. Abdul recruited high school and university students on a voluntary basis to help clean the route. He can’t help but express shock at the amount of trash and adds, “This is a religious trek and site for devotees and yet it is so dirty.”

Sameer Ahmad, one of the volunteers of Majid Squad, invites devotees to undertake the yatra, but sincerely requests them to not contribute to pollution.

There is no escaping interaction with one’s city in everyday life, where apathy by the people affects the people first and foremost. Collective action is necessary if we are to solve what seem like overwhelming issues of pollution and general environmental degradation. But individual concern and small solution-oriented steps taken in the right direction like that of Majid Squad, can collectively take everyone forward.

Video by Community Correspondent Rayees Ahmad

Article by Shreya Kalra, a member of the VV Editorial Team

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