Amid concerns over the massive amount of laminated election posters causing serious environmental damage, a youth organisation has undertaken initiatives to recycle the material to help underprivileged children.
The flipside of the posters will be turned into notebooks, while the plastic will be used to pack clothes and made into string to bind food packets.
Biddyananda Foundation, a voluntary organisation working for street children, collected some 1 lakh posters till yesterday from Balurghat, Pallabi, Adabar, Banani and Khilgaon.
“We have six orphanages supporting 350 underprivileged children. They need notebooks to write,” said Salman Khan, head of the Dhaka branch of the foundation. “Even if we can manage food for them from donations, we cannot afford notebooks adequately,” he said.
“We alone cannot clean the city, but reusing the posters can play a simple part in it,” said Salman, a private university student.
According to Faruque Ahmed, a volunteer, they were unsure of the initiative at first as they thought local political leaders would be offended by it, but the initiative turned out smooth. “We are getting responses from councillor candidates too. Their representatives are calling us to collect posters,” he said.
DNCC mayor-elect Atiqul Islam yesterday handed over his campaign posters to the foundation.
Welcoming the initiative, DNCC’s Additional Chief Waste Management Officer SM Shafiqur Rahman said, “So far we have talked to two organisations who are collecting the posters, and we are hopeful all posters will be removed soon, through our initiatives and their support.”
Established in 2013, Bidyananda currently has 20 projects across the country, operated by 300 volunteers from various backgrounds. Some of their projects have gained plaudits from all corners -- like the “1-Taka meal”, under which any street children can have lunch for Tk 1 every day.
Similarly, they have another project where they provide medical care to the underprivileged for Tk 1.