We Nagpurians are incredibly proud of the way Futala lake and the road facing it has been ‘beautified’ and given a ‘make over’ some years ago. Whenever anyone visits us from elsewhere we do take them there on one evening at least. That on the other side of the road we have a number of restaurants offering a lot of choice, and many pretty easy on the wallet, further adds to its attraction.
Futala or Telenkhidi lake as we used to call it earlier, is a favoured spot for other people too. Bird spotting group ‘Bird Katta’ meet there every second Sunday of the month because it is a good place to spot birds. Every year Nagpurians flood the lake side for Ganesh ‘visarjan’ since . unlike Ambazari, immersion is allowed here and it is very accessible from all sides.
But Futala has played a price for all this activity. In the evenings, the crowds there are choke a block. Youngsters sitting on the walls lining the lake, on the wall lining the road; strolling around; sitting in parked vehicles by the side of the road and some two wheelers just zooming by up and down on the road like maniac roadies.
Last December , (it was actually December 31st ) my friend Shyamala Sanyal was knocked down by a scooterist at 4 p.m. who did not then even stop to help her up or say sorry.
With all these frenzied evening activities, by morning, it is a sorry sight to behold. Garbage littered around everywhere – bins overflowing. Bins not there where they are supposed to be. ( I remember when the place was first thrown open to the public in its new avatar, it had many bins lined up close to one another – I was really impressed by the number.)
Seeing this state of affairs, Prashen Kyawal felt very uneasy one morning. “Why is so much garbage littering every nook and corner?” he asked himself. There were NMC workers busy sweeping the place clean but he knew by the end of the evening it would again look the same. “Will more and regularly spaced bins solve the problem? People will at least not have the excuse that if there had been a bin we would have thrown our garbage in it”.
He spoke of this to other people – mostly part of the Nagpur Foodies group – and out of that was born a campaign to get people to donate garbage bins to be installed at the spot.
Others who got involved in the activity were Akash Katole,Shoeb Meman,Rajiv Jindal and Kshitij Ingle. They formed a group called ‘Clean Nagpur‘ and set about sending out invites to their friends to contribute for one bin each. The target was collecting and installing 100 additional bins there, which was considered the optimum number to make a difference given the density of the crowd that gathers there. But they also decided that as soon as they have collected 50 they will have the event of Futala Dustbin Installation. The happy day is tommorow 10th March. The event is happening at 5 p.m. Dignitaries like NMC Commissioner, Police DIG etc. are going to be there.
This group has worked very hard and very diligently and selflessly for the project. Though it is for everyone’s benefit and will help make Nagpur a cleaner, better place they still had to run from pillar to post getting ‘permissions’ for the noble cause.
Nagpur Today lauds their efforts and salutes their enthusiasm. We hope they hold up a shining example to demonstrate what Nagpurians can do for Nagpur – and not just complain!
– Sunita Mudaliar