Mayurbhanj:In an attempt to create awareness of how much waste is generated by plastic products, a 36-year-old resident of Mayurbhanj is dressing himself using polythene bags and roaming on the streets on his bicycle.
Speaking to reporters, Bishnu Bhagat, known as a ‘chalta firta dustbin‘ (walking dustbin) said his aim is to generate awareness about the hazards of using plastics, be it sipping tea in a plastic cup or carrying vegetables in plastic carry bags.
“I want to send out a clear message to people that plastic is harmful to the environment. I am wearing this dress made of plastic so that I can teach children regarding the same. I urge all not to use plastic and its products in order to keep the environment clean and green,” he said.
Bhagat said the idea to create awareness in this quirky way stemmed from an incident in the past when an individual once threw a plastic bag filled with food in front of him.
“Moments after, I saw a cow chewing that plastic bag along with the food, it pained me. After two days, I was informed the same cow died after consuming plastic. From that day, I decided to make efforts to create awareness about the pollution caused by plastic and the products made from it,’’ he added.
As part of his awareness campaign, Bhagat, on a daily basis, visits schools and engages children in talks with the help of his unusual attire.
A principal from a local school stated, “Our children love to talk to him regarding pollution because of his dress. They are convinced the use of plastic will deteriorate the environment and increase the toxicity in the environment.”
One of the school students, Sanjana, said: “From Bhagat, I learned that I should not use polythene bags and also encourage my friends and family members to stop its use.”
Mayurbhanj Collector and District Magistrate Vineet Bharadwaj lauded Bhagat for his unique move and said his efforts can culminate into a mass movement and everyone can collectively work towards a better future.
India generates about 25,940 tons of plastic and more than 97,000 tons of solid waste per day, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had revealed in June.
In order to combat plastic pollution and other environmental issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of World Environment Day June 5, had pressed for the need to reduce consuming plastic.
“India is the fastest-growing economy in the world today. We are committed to realising the standards of our people in a way that is sustainable and green. Environmental degradation hurts the poor and vulnerable the most. It is the duty of each one of us to ensure that material prosperity does not compromise our environment,” the Prime Minister had stated.