MUMBAI: At a time when many teens are spending their leisure time with gadgets, a group of youngsters from Navi Mumbai decided to spend their time for the betterment of our environment. During the first lockdown, the group made a dog shelter with plastic waste, thus sending out a message of environmental protection as well as care for animals.
Vasundhara Gupte, 18, a resident of Vashi, along with her friend, Khushi Shah, created a group called Urvari. Initially, their work started with tree plantation, with more teens joining their cause. But, they had to put their drive on hold due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.
But this did not deter their determination, and their fight for environment continued. During the first lockdown, after several brainstorming sessions with their friends, Gupte decided to collect plastic waste and turning them into bottle bricks.
“We used social media to collect bottles from friends,” said Gupte. Soon, they collected enough bottles to make a shelter for dogs. “A local corporator, who helped us in storing these bottle bricks in a garden in Vashi, suggested that we keep the shelter in the garden as many street dogs visit the place,” said Gupte.
While the initiative surprised many, a number of people started joining Urvari. “We have groups in Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa and Kolkata, who are taking the initiative to the next level,” informed Gupte, adding that they have also received queries from overseas. “As we are young, we have limitations to take the workload. But we are holding a webinar to spread the message among masses to save the environment,” said Gupte.
Gupte, who has just completed her schooling, will head to London for higher studies. However, she says that she will continue the initiative and work for the environment from there.
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