Plogging is a mix of two words, established from ‘jogging’ and ‘plocka upp’, which is Swedish for ‘pick up’. It implies to an arising worldwide movement, in which someone picks up waste while jogging or brisk walking as a means of cleaning up trash while likewise taking care of health. The movement was commenced in Sweden by Erik Ahlström in 2016, when he wielded to pick up waste every day during his morning runs, and gradually and steadily this rose up as a worldwide movement thanks to social media, while similarly uncovering a path to India.
Ripu Daman Bevli is the first Indian supporter of this unusual sport is, who is frequently called as the “Plogman of India”. A marathoner, entrepreneur, traveller, blogger, Ripu Daman Bevli’s love for the environment is not afresh. This 33-year-old Delhiite established Ploggers of India from his initial endeavor ‘My City My Responsibility’, a couple of years ago, as a consequence of their running activity. Where marathoners abandon a track of trash behind, these runners, on the contrary, picked up trash on their run. He Commenced his career with IT corporations including HCL Infosystems and Akamai Technologies before shifting into a sales role for the startup PacketZoom. In 2017, he commenced the “Ploggers of India” movement and resign from his job in 2018 to concentrate on the movement full-time. In the latter half of 2019, he ran a movement ‘Run to Make India Litter Free’ in alliance with R|Elan where he encircled and cleaned up across 50 towns in September and October. He started this journey independently but presently through his organization “Ploggers of India”, he has organized over 500 clean-up drives in 75+ towns across the nation.
Beginning of the Journey
In 2016, he began running long distances, and that’s when he observed how at running events there is an obvious mishandling of resources and there’s a ton of plastic pollution. Furthermore, he wanted to create a difference with concerns to the littering habit that we as a nation and as a society carry. So it was a two-pronged challenge that he wished to unravel and he decided to build a national trend. He initiated “Run and Cleanup”.
Life Before Getting into Plogging
He was born & brought up in Delhi. He says that he has an exceptionally modest, middle-class upbringing by a single mother. He says that the travelling bug or the cleanliness bug is something that he has got from her mother only. He did engineering and then was with tech companies, MNCs & start-ups for about approximately eight years. He had a corporate & start-up career but then in 2018, he decided to quit all of that to concentrate full-time on the goal to make India litter-free.
The Ploggers of India
The Ploggers of India movement commenced in 2017. When he was jogging in parks in Delhi in the morning when there are fewer people and no traffic. During that time, he observed trash and plastic everywhere in the parks and on the other hand, see how people would observe and entirely be oblivious. These people would furthermore crib and cry about it, accusing the government and the authorities. He felt the need to change this and do something about it ourselves. The organization made cleaning up the cooldown activity of our jogging group. So people run and after the running, they used to cool down by slowly jogging & collecting up trash, That’s how India’s initial run and clean-up movement commenced from Delhi in 2017.
The trend has thrived significantly, they’ve reached nearly across a crore people, the government of India has embraced our mission of making India litter-free and honored him with the title of Plogman of India and also Fit India Ambassador.
With a hope to carry this to all districts of the nation, the Ploggers of India wishes to make and honor Regional heroes, who will regularly take part in their societies and regions so that the consequence is long-lasting and they are able to realize the ambition of litter-free India.
When he started out, it was an enormous challenge to get people to be a part of our endeavors but that was the whole intention I.e. to make the activity of cleaning up the trash of other people, the coolest trend to do in the nation and that’s how the word ‘plogging’ was embraced. From small figures in Delhi to actually encircling more than 80 towns.
Then with the adoption of the government of India, the organization has discerned near to 1 crore people joining in across the nation. The numbers have risen but gradually and steadily they need to take this to every nook and corner of every area of the nation.
Most Memorable Moment
He says that The most memorable moment in his journey years has always come with our drives with children in schools because of the sort of excitement and enthusiasm they possess for this movement, it takes it to like fish to water and this gives him hope that The Ploggers of India is on the right track to make crucial consequence and transformations. These children who have been a part of our endeavors will lead a positive transformation and direct us to a better future.
Fit India Ambassador
He says that It’s incredible to see that the Government of India embraced the mission under the FIT India initiative which is the most driving fitness and sports endeavor by the government. Our organization's idea of unifying FIT India with Swachh Bharat got the honor that is required. With this, The Ploggers of India have been able to reach across the nation.
Challenges as a Plogman
The biggest challenge faced by us initially was to change the perspective of society. Cleaning up our roads is looked down upon and rag-pickers who do the duty are named ‘kachrewala’. They should be equally honored as every other profession whether a doctor, scientist, engineer, or any other person.
So we colluded the Trash Workout, which is a holistic movement as it enhances not only your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing but furthermore battles the societal vision that trash on the street is not our responsibility. Initially, participation was short, but since we were able to make this movement ‘cool’, the numbers began increasing.
Future Plans and Goals
In words of our plans, The Ploggers of India have already been driving our movement ‘Plastic-Upvaas’ for the last year or so and we plan to take this to the worldwide level where we wish to convey this message of ‘Plastic-Upvaas’ and why everyone should fast from the one thing which is devastating the earth and our health at the same time I.e. single-use plastic. So, we plan to convey this message out to the world.
Another campaign that he's planning is ‘Ride for Change’ which will be a Zero-Emission and Zero-Waste ride across the nation encircling some 6,000-7,000 km across the nation and it will be performed early next year in a period of about two months.
Everything that The Ploggers of India do is tied to our purpose and our ambition of a ‘Litter-free India’. So, we continue to work towards that, and everything that we accomplish, every movement, every campaign directs to that dream.
Message and Advice
The most important message that everyone needs to understand is that with the current pandemic, we have beheld how our actions have affected the environment when we remained inside, we could notice our environment, pure and glorious, which implies that humans actions have certainly negatively affected our environment. And it is time to reconsider our connection with the environment because Mother Earth is the only home we have with its nature, plants, and animals around us, not the four-wall of our home, and we require to conserve it for our future generations.