No, there is no organisation as ‘The Gurgaon Clean City Initiative’
Pune does have one though – It’s called the Adar Poonawalla Clean City Initiative ( APCCI )
I first heard about it at Massive Earth Summit held on the 6th of June in New Delhi. See our notes here.
For those of you who may not be aware about it, APCCI is a private initiative to keep Pune clean. It was started with a CSR grant of Rs 100 crores by Mr Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute, one of the worlds largest vaccine manufacturers.
Pune has been the family and business home for the family for decades, and Adar, fed up with the garbage all around, instead of crying decided to do something about.
Ofcourse he is a billionaire so Rs 100 crores is probably chump change for him – But he invested a more precious commodity, his time in setting up an organisation which works with the Pune municipal corporation to keep the city clean.
It’s very professionally run ( has a CEO with a clear mandate ), with the latest equipment and a mobile app through which citizens can report garbage, which in turn is cleaned by TAPCCI and reported back to the concerned citizen.
The citizens are the key – Without their involvement and support, no amount of money or organisation can solve such problems individually.
Today, it has about 170 machines, with 300 employees covering about 400kms of roads – or about half of Pune.
It’s quite fascinating and do read more about it at www.adarpcleancity.com
While it made me very happy to hear about the initiative, it also made sad – Sad at the fact that our governance systems aren’t able to maintain the basics.
The government however isn’t a magical, powerful alien body with supreme powers to fix all problems. The government comprises of regular citizens like us and I guess they can only do so much.
However, we citizens, who non stop complain on Twitter – Do we pause to think how much we contribute to the problem ?
- Do you drive a car instead of trying to take the metro or public transport / cycling ?
- Do you segregate waste at home ?
- Do you accept plastic bags while shopping ?
- Do you drive in your lanes all the time ?
- etc etc
It’s also a bit of a chicken vs egg situation – e.g. How does on take public transport if last mile connectivity is not good or even available ?
It also got me thinking – While Gurgaon probably does have a few billionaires who can afford to start ‘The <insert family name> Gurgaon Clean City Initiative’ the question is do we regular citizens need to wait for them.
While there are a few NGOs who run ‘Avoid plastic’ campaigns around World Environment Day, there is any public- private initiative or organisation which can look at multiple issues and brainstorm solutions.
An example is waste management – If we started segregating waste, and converting organic household waste to compost, not only would it solve the issue of waste for the land fills, it would give us enough compost to plant and nourish millions of trees – Green cover which Gurgaon desperately needs.
About 25 lakh people live in Gurgaon today. Even if 10% of the population contributed Rs 100 per month for 3 years, it would lead to a corpus of Rs 100 crores.
That money could be used to create a professional organisation that works WITH the government agencies and not in parallel – An initiative that not only provides ideas and solutions but also holds the government agencies accountable.
What do you think ?
Would you like to contribute to / be part of such an initiative ?
If yes, please leave a comment and we can schedule a meetup to discuss how we can make Gurgaon a better place with Active Citizenship.
Please share this article with friends / family who live in Gurgaon.