After the very successful eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi last year,Mayor Shubha Raul now wants the city to celebrate an eco-friendly Republic Day. She has urged citizens to give plastic flags a miss this year and has written a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations (BMC) license department and the Municipal Commissioner to take strict action against anyone found selling or buying plastic flags for Republic Day.
Stressing that the use of plastic national flags is detrimental to both the environment as well as national sentiments,she wants such flags to be taken off the shelves immediately.
It is a known fact that plastic national flags sell like hot cakes during Republic Day. But it is not very environment friendly,since these flags are made of non-biodegradable material. We as a city strongly oppose the use of plastic,and therefore should not use such flags for celebrating a national festival, says Raul.
Raul wants the BMC to take strict action against any vendor who sells plastic flags. Since most of these flags are sold by slum children on the road,she also wants massive awareness campaigns to be held for their benefit.
Shops who sell these bags should be penalized. But slum children are selling these things out of sheer ignorance. So we need to educate them about the ills of plastic and gradually tell them not to sell such goods. Action should also be taken against the customer,who in spite of knowing the ill-effects of plastic continues to buy such flags, said Raul.
As an alternative,Raul has suggested the use of flags made of either paper or cloth. Flags made of paper or cloth is safer. Unlike plastic it does not go into the nullah and choke it. This will definitely be an environment friendly method, said Raul. Also using such flags will prevent people from throwing them away indiscriminately. Plastic flags which ultimately go into a nullah are an eye-sore, added Raul.
Last year,Raul had visited school children to educate them about the demerits of plastic flags. Once they became aware of the harmful effects of plastic,they stopped using plastic flags for their school and house programmes. We hope to emulate such awareness programs in slums this year. After all knowledge is the key to stop any misuse, said Raul.