As the First Citizen of the Pune, Mayor Chanchala Kodre has taken upon herself the task to ensure – with all her zeal and might – that environment conservation becomes integral to city’s development.
A green city makes a healthy city, and Pune Mayor Chanchala Kodre seems to be living that belief day in and day out. Banking on an army of young environment enthusiasts, she has set before herself the task to make the city greener and friendlier to the environment. “As citizens, we should be aware of the ways of conserving energy. It is also important to create this awareness amongst the youngsters,” says Kodre. She has been striving hard to raise a strong, dynamic and pro-active Green Brigade by connecting the students’ community to the city’s ecosystem. “The future of our nation lies in the hands of the youth. They need to be motivated in the right direction and introduced to the issues faced by the city before they can lead the nation,” she adds.
‘Let’s Discuss 2014’
The Pune Mayor, who seems to be living and breathing environment conservation, says a city can be kept green not through stringent laws, but through the will and impelling desire among the citizens to make a better city. Taking this message forward, Mayor Kodre has initiated a programme, named “Let’s Discuss 2014”. Under the programme, eminent people from different walks of life address the students and discuss issues of conservation of environment, traffic issues, city hygiene and role of people’s representatives, among others. Some of the major activities included awareness drive on issues of solid waste management, rainwater harvesting and securing green spaces.
A citizens’ call
“ A city can be kept green not through stringent laws, but through the will and impelling desire among the citizens to make a better city ”
Garbage has been a perennial problem in Pune and crisis for the city’s municipal corporation. To address the issue, the Mayor started a drive against the use of plastics for the promotion of zero-garbage concept, along with effective waste management, through public awareness programmes. The drive is underway and has received an encouraging response. She has ensured that effective results are achieved through personal visits to close to 50 public places in various localities across the city, including big slums and cooperative societies to push this drive.
“The initial response had not been very positive, since people view these campaigns as part of a political agenda. When I talk to people and show them that entire campaign is out of my responsibility as the First Citizen of the city, then people start throwing queries. However, on being convinced, they also join the campaign,” says Kodre.
Regular march of youngsters was organised following each visit to further the cause. The campaign began with around 300 youngsters from various colleges. Encouraged by the response, she has now decided to organize a larger gathering for the march with 7,000- 8,000 college students, where they will take an oath against the use of plastic alongside aiming for zero garbage in their surroundings.
“Where there’s will, there’s a way” is an age-old adage, which seems proving true yet again in case of Mayor Kodre.