Saying no to plastic

"Dear Suresh uncle, I am writing you this letter as a part of our awareness campaign regarding harmful effects of plastic. Plastic bags contain lesser microns and are non-biodegradable, hence cannot be recycled. I request you to stop using plastic bags and start using eco-friendly paper bags to save Mother Earth. Your loving niece, Saachi."

If these words of a little kid from St Ursula High School can inspire her uncle to shift from plastic to paper bags, imagine the impact of 46,750 such letters. Initiating a revolution through letters Patrakranti children are spreading awareness among citizens on the devastating state of the environment today.

Started in August 9 by Lions Club Of Pune, Kothrud Citizen Forum, Responsible Recyclers India Foundation and SETU, Patrakanti reached out to 10 schools of Pune to participate in this movement towards a plastic free world. "Among the schools we approached were St Andrews, St Vincent's School, Dnyanasambodhani Prasahala Shirwal School, Paranjape School, Kids World, Mahesh Vidyalaya English Medium School, St Ursula, Haribhau Pokale School and Vidyaniketan School. And the response we received from the institutions was tremendous," says Suresh Sheth, President of Lions Club, Aundh.

Supported by organisations like the Clean Garbage Management by Lalit Rathi, Jala Biradri by Dr Rajendra Singh, Patrakranti celebrated its success at the Maratha Chamber of Commerce on September 6 where five students who wrote the best motivating letters were felicitated by cartoonist, Mangesh Tendulkar.

Sheth mentions that 9,350 students took part in the initiative and each student wrote five letters to their relatives, friends and even to government officials. The approach followed the Gandhian method of 'practise what you preach', where over 11,000 students collected about 6,000 kg of dry plastic waste and penned down their experiences and the harsh environmental truths that unfolded in front of them during the process.

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