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    Posted November 20, 2010 by
    McleodGanj, India
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Cleaning up the community

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    Dharamsala Clean Up Movement March


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     TammyWinand witnessed this march, held by members of Volunteer Tibet and Youth International, in the streets of McleodGanj, India. The goal of the march was to bring awareness to littering and the need to properly dispose of trash. TammyWinand said, 'For the most part, [the march was] light-hearted and upbeat; local residents seemed amused and somewhat perplexed.' She continued, 'While the march attracted attention, a great deal of further educational efforts is necessary.'
    - nhieatt, CNN iReport producer

    On 19 November, 2010 at approximately 4pm, a group of about 20 mostly western expats/volunteers marched through the streets of McleodGanj (Upper Dharamsala) in support of a local clean up effort. The march proceeded up Jogiwara Road to the town's Main Square, where they performed impromptu songs with a related message.


    The group, including members of Volunteer Tibet and Youth International, led by local Tibetan announcer Lhakpa Tsering, bore a large banner which read "Clean Up Dharamsala For a Safer, Happier and More Beautiful Place to Live". Participants carried waste such as plastic and glass bottles picked up off the street. One woman wore a skirt made of spirals cut from plastic water bottles.


    Despite the existence of local recycling and waste collection agencies, pollution remains a major issue in the Dharamsala. As in most of India, a large percentage of paper and plastic waste is disposed of in street-side gutters or thrown from hotel balconies. Local residents and businesses frequently burn rubbish heaps, adding to serious air pollution.


    Tibetan Childrens Village Schools are a leader in the drive to recycle waste of all forms. Still, intensive environmental educational programs and anti-pollution initiatives are much needed in McleodGanj and India in general.

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