Dhaka, Bangladesh (October 6, 2019): The morning of 28th September 2019 was a usual one for the people at Sugandha Beach Point of Cox’s Bazar. The place was filled with its regular crowd of tourists, vendors and locals, frolicking about in the sea or the beach when a group of people dressed in black swarmed in with garbage bags in their hands and started picking out the trash that others left behind.
The students of Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies (IDMVS, 5th Batch) of University of Dhaka, took a hands-on approach to promote a cleaner environment this September. During their study tour to Cox’s Bazar, they took a little time out of their schedule to pick up trash littering around in every nook and corner of Sugandha beach. At the end of their exercise, they were left with 10 bags full of plastic bottles, poly bags, food containers, candy wrappers and seemingly uncountable, cigarette filters.
All 41 students along with their two lecturers, Musabber Ali Chisty and Muhammad Awfa Islam, jointly took the initiative. Apart from the trash, they were rewarded with water, lots of bananas and big, hearty smiles from the local people.
When asked about what they hoped to achieve with their initiative they acknowledged their inability to clean the whole beach by themselves in one morning and admitted they would consider their efforts to be successful if they could transpire the message of cleaning up after themselves to even 10 people.
“If we can manage to fill 10 giants bags with trash in just one morning, that’s when you know we have a problem” said one student. “People keep forgetting it is not anyone else’s responsibility to pick up their trash. Stop treating the world as your personal ash-tray and spare a minute to pick up your soda bottle or that cigarette filter instead of leaving it behind.”
It is noteworthy that the students of IDMVS 5th batch were involved in other similar programmes to advocate and mainstream efforts towards building a clean and sustainable environment. Earlier this year, they initiated the #TreeTag, Bangladesh campaign for a greener earth.
About IDMVS: The Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies is a non-profit academic and research institute operating within the University of Dhaka with a professional goal to contribute to the evolution of development and adaptation strategies, which are compatible with a healthy environment, its conservation as well as sustainable use of natural resources nationally and globally.
Writer: Mir Golam Saklayen is a staff reporter in Independent Bangla