Lush green mountain ranges, soft clouds gliding through the peaks, you make your way to the top to view the sunrise over the blanket of clouds. As you get higher, you spot plastic bottles scattered here and there, with each step you take, the occurrence increases, previously scattered litter are piles of garbage now. Not a pleasant sight, right? Well, the tourist hotspot of Vanjangi in Vizag has turned into one such polluted place.
Krishna Prasad, Joint Secretary of Ken Foundation, and a person who hails from the local village near Paderu took up the mission to clean and create awareness among the local folk on the importance of saving the environment. As a member of Ken Foundation, a non-profit organisation which generally organises clean-ups of the beach and Erra Matti Dibbalu after the busy festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi and Kartika Masam, he had an opportunity to organise a clean-up at the peak of Vanjangi. Being at a height of 3,400 ft above sea level, this clean-up that took place on 25 January is considered to be the first clean-up in the Eastern Ghats, informed Santosh, Founder, Ken Foundation.
Stating the horrid conditions at the popular sunrise point, Santosh says, “Being at higher altitude, cleaning up Vanjangi was a task, our volunteers were spread across the area, yet, we could manage only clearing a small percentage of the site. Bringing back approximately 30 enormous bags of garbage proved to be extremely laborious.” It was a team of 25 that trekked up to the peak, out of which, 15 were localites, determined to keep the environment clean.
Ken Foundation, with the support of Panchayat staff of Lagisapalli and Vanjangi villages, conducted awareness drives for the youth of the same about the steps to be taken to maintain the sanctity of the place. Informing about the future plans and remedies for this scattered waste disposal, Ken Foundation plans to supply dustbins and garbage bags to the local shop vendors and urging them to use eco-friendly packaging like paper/cloth bags.
With the tourism department of Andhra Pradesh planning to take necessary steps in providing proper disposal facilities, Ken Foundation wants to help keep the area clean by erecting bins at regular intervals to avoid unruly littering of trash.