Greener BeeGreen LivingA campaign to encourage green living

MUZAFFARABAD: A group of social and youth activists joined hands on Saturday to clean up a posh neighborhood of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir capital as part of a wider campaign to encourage green living.

The initiative was inspired by United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those dealing with climate action including life above and below the land, campaigners said.

‘Azad Kashmir Vines’ came in collaboration with ‘Clean Green Muzaffarabad’ and SOS Children Village to address the pressing needs of the city, by creating a sense of ownership among the communities concerned.

In the first phase, Upper Chattar Housing Scheme – an area housing palatial residences of government officials many of which have been rented out to schools and other offices – was chosen for the activity, due to severe litter and an alleged lack of care by civic bodies and residents.

“We decided that instead of just criticizing the government or departments to address the issue, we should take the initiative by claiming ownership of our own neighbourhoods and working to improve their looks in as many ways as possible,” said Malik Wasim, a social activist and campaigner from the same area.

He said it was heartening to see young people taking centre stage in the development of their own city.

“We firmly believe that the future is ours and therefore we must work for it with one accord,” he said.

Malik Shaban, another key campaigner, said he had set up an organisation to spread a good and positive message about how “we can be the good citizens.”

Zeeshan Haider Kazmi, another active youth representative, pointed out that it was a crucial time for the people of whole country to rise up and speak out with a view to playing their role in elimination of poverty, inequality and injustice, and tackling climate change by 2030.

“Responsibility lies more on the younger generation because they have to take up the reins of this country in future. We have to set examples for others, and this we will have to do with our deeds and not just by hollow claims on social media sites,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2017

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