Inspired by a video clip of the undaunted service rendered by a municipal worker during the pandemic-induced lockdown last year, Amogh Desai from Kavalem, Ponda now spends his Sundays collecting litter around the village.
“My day starts at 7 in the morning. I take my bicycle with a water bottle and my snack box and spend two hours cleaning the surrounding areas,” he says, adding that he has purchased garbage bags with the pocket money of `200 given by his father in which he collects the litter and transports it to a solid waste yard, on his cycle.
Initially, the 16-year-old commenced work around his house and slowly he extended the work area to the entire Kavalem village. “Kavalem has the renowned Shantadurga Temple which is a famous tourist spot. A number of tourists visit the temple every day and as result a lot of plastic bottles, chip packets, and water bottles are littered all around the road, the water body, paddy fields, etc,” says Amogh.
Recognising the selfless initiative by the youngster, his fellow villagers have since joined hands with him to keep the surroundings clean.
And Amogh has now extended his work to the neighboring village of Dhavali which has a roadside market owing to which a lot of garbage litters the sides of the road. And his work has been appreciated there as well.
Besides this, Amogh has started a new initiative of feeding the stray cows. As of now he feeds 50 cows every Sunday with the pocket money given by his grandmother or mother. “In Goa, most of the people abandon their cattle, once they stop milking. These cows move through the village dirtying the surroundings,” he says. Thus, he has come out with the idea that even when the cows stop yielding milk, they can be used for the generation of biogas. In fact, he has plans of installing a gobar gas plant himself.
The youngster has also started his own organisation called Indian Reforms Organisation (IRO) in October last year with an aim to share ideas, group discussions, research, and social service to connect people. He has four members as of now, and hopes more will join in coming years. “The youth of India will take India to the top level when they think of their nation before themselves. This I believe can be brought by various activities like cleanliness drives and working together to do research about various problems of the society, finding solutions and then working to implement these,” he says.