Determined for a cleaner M’singh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:13 AM, July 22, 2020

Determined for a cleaner M’singh

BD Clean volunteers keep up weekly drive for 4yrs

With a view to keeping Mymensingh clean, a group of volunteers has been working relentlessly for the last four years.

Under the initiative "BD Clean-Mymensingh", they conduct drive once a week, said organisers.

As part of its regular operation, the volunteers removed all sorts of rubbish from the city's Kachari Ferry Ghat to Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrohoshala on July 17. "That day, we found around 5,000 discarded plastic items, mostly one-time tea cup, scattered the area stretching 1km on the Brahmaputra riverbank," said Ali Yusuf, a volunteer.

He said they also clean the premises of different educational institutions, offices parks and roads.

The service has already drawn people's attention as the organisation also conducts motivational programmes at different educational institutions and open spaces mostly on holidays.

With slogans, "Let cleanliness start with myself" and "A dream for clean Bangladesh", the move started with 85 volunteers, mostly students, in 2016, said its divisional coordinator Advocate Motiur Rahman Foisal.

Now, the number stands at 1,500, which include professionals, students, teachers, doctors, lawyers and businessmen, said Foisal.

"I started 'BD Clean-Mymensingh' having been inspired by 'Dhaka Clean', a cleaning initiative in the capital," said Foisal, adding that their volunteers are presently covering the whole Mymensingh division comprising four districts -- Mymensingh, Netrakona, Jamalpur and Sherpur.

Utsab Singh Sagor, district coordinator of the organisation, said they emphasise students' involvement in their initiative. "At schools, we administer oath so that they keep their campuses clean. Their teachers also join them," he said.

Teams at 20 educational institutions -- including Mymensingh Zila School, Premier Ideal High School, Bidhyamoyee Government Girls' High School, Nasirabad Collegiate School, Mymensingh College and Krishi Biswabidyalaya College -- in and outside Mymensingh city are assigned to keep their premises clean, said the coordinator.

Samia Jannat, team leader at Bidhyamoyee school, said, "We enjoy the work."

More than 200 awareness programmes -- including 40 at educational institutions -- have been held since the inception of the organisation, said Sagor. They also distributed plastic trash cans and placards reading words for awareness among 100 hawkers, he said.

Appreciating the initiative, Advocate Shibbir Ahmed Liton, secretary of Poribesh Rokhha o Unnayan Andolon, a Mymensingh-based green organsation, said they took a befitting challenge. The environment is being polluted in many ways, he said.

Echoing him, Bimol Pal, a freedom fighter in the district, said such good deeds can be done only by good souls.

Kishore Tripura, a photographer, has been involved in BD Clean-Mymensingh since the beginning. He said without awareness the environment cannot be kept clean.

Dr Reza Hasan Tokey, a medical officer, said he joined the voluntary organisation being inspired by its works.

When contacted, Mymensingh city Mayor Ekramul Haque Titu, also an adviser of the organisation, said many throw away household waste here and there, obstructing sewerage system. BD Clean-Mymensingh's campaign can make people aware to some extent, he said.

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