Hyderabad: Saini Naveen Kumar with his group of friends has been going around the meat shops of Boddupal town in Hyderabad and has been educating people on why they should carry their steel boxes for buying meat. He has been doing this for the past year now.

Naveen says, “Our Prime Minister had announced to make India plastic-free, but for that, as citizens, we should also take some action, so we started this in our town, Boddupal.”

On a Sunday morning, around 9 am, Naveen and his friend’s J Sai Krishna, Bharghav, Mahesh, Bhanu, Rohit and Shivareddy divide themselves into different groups and visit around ten meat shops. They talk to the meat buyers and request them to bring their plastic bags.

Naveen says, “Carrying steel boxes to meat shops and using jute bags instead of plastic bags will help to protect our environment. Meat Shops in Boddupal see around 10 to 15 customers per day. If every customer brings a tiffin box, then it will be easy for the shopkeeper to pack the meat faster and will reduce the use of one-time-plastic.”

Apart from this, the group also visits weekly Monday market set-up in Boddupal. The market is flooded with vegetable shop, and the volunteers urge people to carry jute bags for shopping. Naveen has also donated around 550 jute bags in these markets.

He says “In October, as soon as the plastic ban was announced, people had stopped using it, but a month back, I noticed that plastic is again in use. The shopkeepers are freely giving it. The government should take strict actions against it.”

Other than these, Naveen’s team also came up with an idea. Earlier they were running a campaign in which in exchange for one kg of Plastic, they gave one kg of rice. Naveen said that he and his team are just taking some small efforts, to avoid Plastic and maintain the environment.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter as a "Factcheck Freelancer". A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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