“It is Our Responsibility to Save Our River and We Will", say 3 Teenagers
Three individuals came together and decided to start an initiative to protect their city’s river. They gathered all the likeminded people to help each other from their school and friends outside of school.
The team of three and grown to more than 30 members working together as a core team in Mula Mutha Revival (MMR). The three brave teenagers - Priyanshi Singh, Poonam Waghri, and Shivani Katare from Avasara Leadership Institute started a small organization in their school in 2021 in order to bridge the gap of information failure in their society. Their motive was to connect with like-minded people and create a community of individuals who care and worry about their environment. They regularly conduct clean-up drives in smaller parts of the river bank. People go pick up all the waste they see around in the hope to see the river to be clean like in the past.
MMR works in different departments - the research team, public relations, government, online and offline promotion team, and the recruitment team. The core team members who are part of these departments have their own roles to fulfill.
The government team stays in constant contact with the local government officials learning about the garbage collection services in some parts of Pune.
The public relations team stays in touch with the local community and plans the schedules for the whole team. They recently had an opportunity for a nukad natak in the presence of the citizens. The compliments they received from the people on their message, efforts, and initiative encouraged them to work harder and bring a change in the people around them. They wanted the citizens to realize that the river is for them and that they have to preserve it. Water pollution sometimes leads to irreversible actions. The lives gone under the water can never come back. The public relations team also has conducted door-to-door surveys to understand the situation of the river and households.
The research team works on writing a detailed report on the Mula Mutha River with concrete research.
The recruitment team carefully selects likeminded people to work in the internal team of MMR.
The promotions team makes posts on social media and spreads the news about MMR to people around them in person.
Priyanshi Singh expressed her view on climate change saying,
“Honestly speaking, the current status of climate change is terrible. Climate change is worsening the rainfall patterns and global warming has been increasing day by day. Although individuals are taking action towards climate change, there’s a lack of collective efforts. It’s important that different administrations like the government, non-governmental organizations, and influential individuals collaborate to spread awareness and mitigate climate change on a local, and global level.”
Many would agree with Priyanshi’s view on climate change. The MMR community is constantly striving to learn more about climate change and is willing to learn, unlearn information. The team is aware that people would not just listen to them in the first go, hence they refused to give up. There were times when the team lacked volunteers for their clean-up drives but it did not stop them from not going ahead. Working at MMR did not only focus on climate change rather also on team building, leadership, responsibility, and trust in each other. These factors have brought them to successfully conduct more than 5 clean-up drives and other fun activities.
The team members believe they are playing the role of a problem-solver. The constant feedback they sought from within the team and others helped them grow better. They celebrated and will do so for all the wins in their journey of preserving the river. They proved that age is a mini matter to consider when it comes to saving what is ours. Connecting with the government was a little struggle for them being young but their persistence kept them from sustaining their relationship with the government officials. The team believes in creating a “sustainable model to clean the river,” says one of MMR's core team members.
“If power was used properly, it could change many things.”
Written by Bangaru Hemadevika