Anantnag, May 14: Two men were honoured for their “exceptional efforts” in environmental clean-up and garbage collection in the Sadiwara Dooru area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Sunday.
The recognition came after the local Sarpanch announced that an individual who collects 20 quintals of garbage in his/her ward would be rewarded with gold coins.
The initiative, known as "Give Plastic, Take Gold" was conceived by Sadiwara's Sarpanch, Advocate Farooq Ahmad Gani, to encourage locals to take part in the village's clean-up campaign.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Syeed Fakhrudin Hamid and other officials gathered on Sunday for a one-day solid waste management initiative. The focus of the event was to discuss solid waste segregation and ways to implement effective waste management practices.
During his remarks, the DC emphasised the importance of implementing ideas rather than just discussing them. “Everyone has ideas, but it is the implementation of those ideas that counts," he said.
The event was aimed at promoting responsible waste management and encouraging the public to take an active role in keeping the environment clean. “Give plastic, take gold is a fantastic initiative that we must expand to other villages. I am extremely glad to see such initiatives. We must all work together to ensure and maintain a clean environment,” he said.
"Farooq Ahmad Ganie's effort had transformed the village’s scenery," he added.
The two men were awarded gold coins and medals by the DC for their efforts in gathering nearly two quintals of solid waste from the village of Sadiwara.
Showkat Ahmad Itoo and Bhat Shahid collected a range of waste products, including chips, packets, diapers, polythene, and single-use plastics, in their hamlet.
The men were recognised for their contribution to the initiative, which aimed to reduce waste and promote cleanliness in the area.
Itoo said that cleaning the village and ensuring appropriate sanitation was a group effort. “I received a gold coin and a gold medal for collecting two quintals of garbage. It is our duty to keep the environment clean,” he said.
"This ‘give plastic, take gold’ initiative was a trailblazer in initiating a long-term struggle to end the menace of plastics in the environment,” he said.