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Uttarakhand youth on ‘Mission cleanliness’

Apart from cleaning public places himself, Rawat exhorts local communities to desist from littering

Uttarakhand youth on ‘Mission cleanliness’

Accompanied by his dog Charlie, Prem Rawat is trudging across the hills to spread the message of cleanliness. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Naresh Thakur

Chamba, March 20

A youth from Uttarakhand has embarked on a noble mission to ensure cleanliness at tourist and religious sites, thereby preserving the natural beauty of mountains.

After a journey of three months and 20 days, covering over 2,000 km, 22-year-old Prem Rawat reached Chamba’s Bharmour on Monday, where he carried out a cleanliness drive before setting off for his next destination.

Apart from cleaning public places himself, Rawat also exhorts local communities to join him to desist from littering and maintain the pristine beauty of the mountains.

Rawat, a resident of Pauri Garhwal, highlights the problem of tourists leaving behind garbage at hill stations and religious sites. “Hurt by seeing beautiful hills turning into garbage dumps, I decided to raise awareness among people about the importance cleanliness,” he said.

Rawat started his journey last year from Pauri Garhwal, on a bicycle, accompanied by his faithful companion Charlie, a dog. Travelling with Charlie to various locations in Himachal Pradesh till Dalhousie, Rawat faced a setback when his bicycle broke down. Undeterred, he resolved to continue his journey on foot. During the journey, he continues to inspire locals to actively participate in keeping tourist and religious sites clean.

Rawat said he took a break from his B.Tech final-year course to spread the message. He had visited famous hill stations of Himachal like Shimla and Manali in the past with his friends, but had never been to the remote parts of the state. “And now, I have a purpose for travelling this far,” he said.

During his travel, Rawat opts to spend the night in tents instead of hotels or lodges, ensuring he minimises his environmental footprint. Additionally, he meticulously manages his own food and other supplies.

Khajjiar needs cleaning

Rawat said he also visited Khajjiar, a renowned tourist spot often referred to as Mini Switzerland, but was

disappointment with the lack of cleanliness around the iconic lake.

He said it was disheartening to see the lack of arrangements for proper disposal of garbage.

“Water from drains flows into the lake, raising a stink,” he said stressing that the local communities at such places need to be made aware of the need to keep their surroundings clean.

Rawat said after exploring Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, he would like to travel to Jammu and Kashmir to spread the message.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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