New campaign to cut down plastic launched

Green Commandos, in collaboration with Green Connect, kick-started its ‘Say no to Plastic’ campaign at MC Hall, Building 1, Infosys Campus, Electronic City, Hosur Road. The campaign would cover around 700 areas in Bangalore. Justice Venkatachaliah, chief guest of the event inaugurated the campaign.

Green Commandos is a ‘Bottom Up’ program of change where people need to get involved to change the system. In all 700 locations where they propose to launch this initiative, Green Commandos will engage local people in their respective areas to make their neighborhood plastic-free. Each area will range approximately 2 km with 1,000-1,200 people being pulled into the program at each location. Refer here.

On the occasion, Green commandos t-shirt was launched by dignitaries present in the event. Pic courtesy: Green Commandos.

Green Connect is the environmental sustainability movement led by the Voice of Youth at Infosys. This initiative works on issues concerning water, preservation of natural resources, climate change and energy. Green Connect’s powerful initiative – refuse, reuse, reduce, recycle – is an organisation-wide movement that focuses on measurable action on the ground.

‘Say NO to Plastic’ is the first project by the Green Commandos in Bangalore. New projects will be kick-started every three months. Some examples of future projects are – solar geysers in each house, composting in each house, apartment or building, Q-etiquette – everyone driving on the road in queues and a program aimed at encouraging people to adopt trees in different areas across the city.

Dignitaries present at the press conference on August 29th included – Justice Venkatachaliah – former Chief Justice of India, Mohandas Pai-Director HR, Infosys, Dr. Sudarshan Maini – founder Maini Group and Reva Electric car, Prof. P D Jose – Assistant Professor, IIM Bangalore, Ashwini Nachappa – former athlete, Ashish Ballal – former goalkeeper and Captain – Indian hockey team, Gen T.M John (Chief Warden,Area Surakhsha Mitra) and Dr. Yelappa Reddy – former Environmental Secretary, Karnataka state.

Panelists who attended the press conference through tele-conference were, Charu Sharma – commentator, Prof Prafulla Agnihotri – Chairman placements-IIM Calcutta, Vivek Agnihotri – Bollywood director of Chocolate and Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal movies, Mandar Natekar – Country Sales and Marketing Head – BigAdda. Pai emphasised that youth should take the initiative, asserting that change should be behavioral. He also motivated Green Commandos saying them to be persistent. He told them to work hard to make their voice heard.

Justice Venkatachaliah referred to the Bhagavadgeeta to say that the path to holiness is the path to action. He cautioned that we are poised on a time bomb and need to act fast to save the environment before it explodes. Maini said that Green Commandos is involved in creating awareness, where local people of the 2 km areas are engaged in their areas to make their areas Eco-fit.

Ashwini Nachappa revealed that since the time she associated herself with Green Commandos, she made sure she and her students at her Coorg institute reduce the usage of plastic. Rama N S, Ex-head, Infosys Bangalore development centre, wondered that if we could survive without plastic 30 years ago, then why not now!

Charu Sharma, over tele-conference, said that if we stop using plastic, it should be complimented by the availibility of cloth and jute bags. People think that you are weird if you adamantly refuse to take plastic at a store. But by doing so, the person standing behing you at the counter will notice your actions and certainly think about it. You might be the cause for his change as well.

Vivek Agnihotri said that his associated with Green Commandos is due to its Bottom to Top change. He said that when Green Commandos contacted him to join their Advisory board, and when they talked about Bottom-up change, he was confident because these younsters knew what they were talking! He also asserted that we need to start living naturally again!

Mandar Natekar, Coutry Marketing head, BigAdda, asserted that BigAdda would support Green Commandos by percolating to all its registered users on BigAdda. This would help involve youth of Bangalore to make their city plastic-free.

Ravi Agnihotri, founder Green Commandos, said “It’s a happy day because we’re officially launching the Green Commandos. But it’s also a sad day because we have reached a stage when we need to start organisations like these to protect our environment”. He also appealed to media to percolate Green commandos and its projects Pan-Bangalore!

On the occasion, Green commandos t-shirt was launched by all the dignitaries. Unique ‘Family Green report card’ was launched by Mohandas Pai, Dr. Yellappa Reddy and Prof P D Jose. This report card will be initiated across schools in Bangalore for children to fill on daily basis. At the end of the month, the student with most eco-fit replies would get some motivational accolade.

On the occasion, Dr.Sudarshan Maini, Ashish Ballal and Ashwini Nachappa launched the Green booklet on “Say no to plastic” which explains thoroughly why plastic is bad and why people should adopt various replacements of plastic.

Green Commandos allies: BigAdda, Area Suraksha Mitra, Indian Youth Climate network, Youth for Seva, Maa Communication were present during our launch. BigAdda also became Green Commandos’ sole new-media partner and social networking platform for the youth.

Dr. R K Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) and Director   General of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC), our senior advisory panelist, Dr. Arcot Ramachandran, our senior advisory panelist, former director-IIT Madras and Chairperson-TERI, Sunil Joshi, former test cricket all-rounder and captain of Karnataka team, and Venkatesh Murthy. Co-ordinator of Youth for Seva were not able to join us at the event but we’d like to acknowledge their mentorship and guidance for this program.