Mumbai: While most citizens continue to blame the BMC for several civic issues, there are some who think it’s not solely the municipal corporation's task to maintain the city. These few have taken the responsibility of keeping the city ‘green’ in their own hands and have been working tirelessly to achieve their goal.
One such good Samaritan is a former engineering student and activist, Sushant Bali, who has been promoting green Mumbai for the last four years. “I dedicated my life to make this city a better place to live in, and that decision was an overnight one,” says Bali, a resident of Mulund.
From promoting segregation and composting of waste at home, and planting more trees in association with the BMC and NGOs, Bali is working hard to meet his target. “I read certain news stories on dumping grounds and the rising quantity of waste generated in the city. Thus, I decided to do something on my own. We cannot keep blaming the BMC for it,” says the manager of Saahas NGO.
“I started segregating waste at my house and even composted it. I then created awareness about it in my society and vicinity. Later, we tried to reach out to citizens of nearby areas,” he adds.
According to Bali, because of the ‘collective effort,’ he and his team have managed to composte at least 50 tonnes of waste in the last one and a half years.
Further, Bali has been closely working with the BMC to plant more trees in Mulund and other parts of the Eastern suburbs. “We plant saplings in public places, open grounds, etc. I learnt a tree-planting technique from Himachal, and the same is being used by the civic body,” he points out.
Not only tree plantation, but Bali is also keeping a watch on felling or trimming of the trees. “For the first time, when I pointed out to the civic officials that they were not following the rules while chopping trees at Mulund, I faced a lot of opposition. However, I ensured that law is followed,” he adds.
Since then, Bali can be spotted at almost every tree cutting drive of the BMC in the Eastern suburbs, which he visits armed with appropriate permissions, and ensures no excessive chopping is done. Bali is also a staunch supporter of veganism.
“I have been promoting veganism for the last four years. My family, including wife and child, don't even consume dairy products. We urge people to go green, that is, consume nutritious food that we get through plants alone," Bali said.
“I promote veganism everywhere I go. Initially, people opposed my ideas, but when they were confronted with statistical data about how animal are tortured even in the dairy industry, they are convinced. I aim to make this city clean, green and vegan one,” Bali concludes.