33-year-old Ripu Daman Bevli has the qualifications of an engineer and an IT professional. However, the resident of Delhi, the capital city of India, prefers his other honorary title – India’s Plogging Ambassador. He has an active hobby of running but he also had a different perspective. The two activities joined and gave birth to his journey of plogging as well as his movement aimed at getting rid of litter in India.
It started in 2016. He had just re-started his journey in running in Delhi after recovering from an injury. He noticed the amount of trash littering the roads where he was running. Ripu said the mornings are the best time for their runs. However, it also gave them the best chance to notice all the trash that is strewn around. Simply because at the time, the roads are not as filled with traffic or people.
The Plogging Ambassador began by picking up misplaced pieces of litter and plastic while going on a run. But he wanted to make the movement a nationwide effort. Thus, he began ‘plogging’ – a fitness trend that is eco-friendly. It involves collecting and clearing trash while on a jog.
The Plogging Ambassador Started Before Plogging Was A Thing
Ripu explained that all their focus was on two things only: running, and collecting and clearing the litter that was on the way. For Ripu, cleaning up was not the only objective he had. He also wanted to get rid of the people’s habit of littering and teach them not to do so.
Since then, the Plogging Ambassador has successfully organized over half a thousand clean-up programs across more than 80 Indian cities. Ripu claimed that over 150 tonnes worth of total litter and trash have been picked up in the span of the previous four years, through plogging.
The statistics of Ripu’s plogging expeditions took some time to collect. Simply because he never thought of counting what was being done. The Plogging Ambassador had no presence on social media either until 3 years ago. He recalls how he had said that he did not have a Twitter handle when asked for it while talking with the Indian President. It was only in 2020, that he started making use of his platforms.
An Immense Mission In His Life
The Plogging Ambassador explained that there is trash hidden everywhere once you start looking for it. So his life’s aim to work towards becoming a nation that is free of litter.
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While many think that it is not only impossible but perhaps crazy, Ripu is not giving up. He said the garbage man is less responsible for clearing the garbage than us, who create it. So we must work to change that.
He also aimed to make collecting trash ‘cool’. This became the basis of the workout regime that goes with it. It has is a complete regime that provides emotional and physical help. Moreover, it also tackles the misconception in society that we are not responsible for roadside litter.
Financially, it has been a rough ride so far for the Plogging Ambassador. But with the people’s support and the increasing popularity, he hopes it is going to get better.
You can also aid the Plogging Ambassador’s missions. Some steps recommended by Ripu are: Start in places within your locality where cleaning up is needed; make sure that you do not add to the waste while plogging by using plastics; also make sure to consciously avoid littering as you clean up; locate a recycler in the locality where recyclable trash can be dealt with.