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'Had almost given up, but mention in 'Mann Ki Baat' boosted my campaign': Man on mission to clean Himalayas

Sangwan told PM Modi that the campaign is doing fine and from 2020, whatever work we used to do in a span of five years is being done in a year now, to which the prime minister exclaimed "Wow!"

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 30, 2023 17:09 IST
In this undated file photo, Healing Himalayas Foundation
Image Source : PTI In this undated file photo, Healing Himalayas Foundation Founder Pradeep Sangwan. The foundation works to clear the Himalayas of the waste left behind by tourists.

Mann Ki Baat 100th episode: Pradeep Sangwan, man who launched a mission to clean the Himalayas from the waste left by tourists, has said that a mention of his initiative in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' boosted the campaign, on which he had almost given up. 

Pradeep Sangwan, who established the Healing Himalayas Foundation for the purpose nearly seven years ago, told PTI on Sunday that the prime minister mentioning his campaign during his past radio broadcast boosted his campaign.

A resident of Haryana, interacted with Modi during the 100th episode of the programme, which was broadcasted today (April 30).

Mann Ki Baat 100th episode

On the 100th episode of the broadcast, Modi spoke with some of those who have found mention on previous editions of "Mann ki Baat".

During Sunday's episode, he also spoke to Sunil Jaglan, another Haryana native and the man behind the 'Selfie with Daughter' initiative.

Connecting with Sangwan, Modi, while referring to an earlier episode, said, "We had discussed about the 'Healing Himalayas' campaign."

"How is your campaign going?" Modi asked Sangwan

The Prime Minister told Sangwan, "You thought of healing the Himalayas and you ran a campaign. How is your campaign (going) nowadays?"

Sangwan told the prime minister that they began on a nervous note and at one time he was not sure if he would be able to sustain this life long as few people were taking an interest in the campaign and not giving much importance to the initiative.

He had almost thought of giving up at one stage, Sangwan told the prime minister.

However, after the prime minister mentioned the initiative during a "Mann ki Baat" episode in 2020, things changed as several people joined the campaign, Sangwan told Modi.

"You are performing noble duty," Modi told Sangwan

Modi told him that he was performing a noble duty in the peaks of the Himalayas in the true sense.

"And I firmly believe that hearing your name, people remember how you are associated with the cleanliness campaign of the mountains," said Modi, and added that several mountaineers are posting photos connected with "swachhta (cleanliness)".

"This is good, due to efforts put in by my friends like you, the notion of 'waste is also a wealth' is percolating into the minds of the people and the environment is also being protected," said the prime minister.

Sangwan told Modi, "It (the campaign) is doing fine and from 2020, whatever work we used to do in a span of five years is being done in a year now," to which the prime minister exclaimed "Wow!"

Sangwan's campaign gets a boost after mention in Mann Ki Baat

Sangwan said that earlier they used to conduct six to 10 cleaning drives in a year "but today, we collect five tonnes of garbage on a daily basis from different locations".

He further said that after the prime minister mentioned the campaign in his earlier "Mann ki Baat" address, things began to speed up in a manner he had never thought.

"I am really thankful that how you find out about people like us, you get stories of people like us from remote areas in the Himalayas and working at such altitude and you got our story and brought our work before the world," Sangwan told Modi.

"So, it was an emotional moment for me then, and now, too, that I am able to talk to the country's 'pradhan sevak'...," said Sangwan.

During a previous interaction with PTI, Sangwan had said he came in contact with some students from Himachal Pradesh while doing his graduation from Chandigarh's DAV College and he started to explore the state with them in 2007-08.

After moving to Himachal Pradesh in 2009, he undertook extensive travel and during that he met a group of people from the "gaddi (shepherd)" community in Lahaul. He was impressed how, even in a very remote area, they cared so much for their environment.

His foundation set up its first waste collection and sorting unit three years ago in Rakcham near Chitkul of Kullu district, followed by four other facilities in Mansari (Kullu), Pooh (Kinnaur), Tabo (Spiti) and Narkanda (Shimla).

Sangwan had said his foundation is working with the Department of Environment, Science and Technology, Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board and the state's Forest department to set up a plant.

(With inputs from PTI)

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