Shailesh Kumar, Founder of "Pedal4Planet", on a mission to clean the Ganga of Patna

Shailesh Kumar, Founder of “Pedal4Planet”, on a mission to clean the Ganga ghats of Patna

Have you ever looked around and found that Bihar needs to be transformed in a plethora of ways?
This is being made possible by the hands of Shailesh and his team. Shailesh Kumar, 35, founder of Pedal4Planet, is not only saving the environment by cleaning Ganga but also spreading a positive vibe by using bicycles to travel to reduce air pollution in the city.
 
This initiative of Shailesh, a finance professional for the last 12 years and currently working for IDFC Mutual Fund Patna, is about adding mindfulness to sustainability. Most of the time, people do not realize the consequences of their introductory life, so this initiative shows that a little change can make a big difference.
 
But the question is, what prompted him to embark on this cleanliness campaign? In which he says, “When we take care of our cleanliness, why do we neglect social hygiene?” and while cycling we saw tonnes of religious and plastic waste on the ghats of Ganga in Patna, we started this campaign.”
 
What began as a concern has now evolved into an initiative called Pedal4Planet, where Shailesh leads a Ganga Clean-up Drive every Sunday, and a community of over 25 active and more than 50 volunteers have cleaned the Ganges for over 41 weeks as of August-end, collecting and disposing of over 180 to 200 tonnes of trash to date.
 
He started this initiative on November 28th, 2021. To date, they have done clean-up drives at dunes next to NIT ghat, Dargah Maner Sharif, and majorly at Digha-Janardan Ghat.
 
All along, Shailesh has leveraged the facility of social media to draw attention to his cause, create awareness about plastic pollution and environmental conservation, and obtain volunteers from colleges, schools, cultural institutions, and corporates. In fact, through the pluck cards, he is spreading awareness among people.
 
He said that he follows one quote from Mahatma Gandhi which is, “Let’s be the change you wish to see in this world and you have to be responsible towards your state, your country” and he also gets motivation from Afroz Shah, who has done the longest beach clean-up drive in Mumbai.
 
He’s getting support from Patna-based NGO Abundant Life, which is run by Abhishek from the initial days of the drive, and they are also focusing on educating school kids about the importance of social hygiene in different schools of the city where we follow our mantra “Clean, Educate, and Transform.”
 
Not only for ourselves but for the future generation also, we have to think that we have to keep our behavior the same inside and outside the house. Because if we think that by not doing this, our children are learning everything well, then we are wrong. What we try to do is simply keep teaching the younger ones about patriotism and valor.
 
If the government imposes some restrictions, then we just need to follow them honestly, like carrying a bag of jute from home. If religious waste is coming out of the houses and it has to be thrown into the Ganges, then do not put it in plastic bags and separate it.
 
People don’t need to join them physically. You can be a part of this initiative if you segregate your religious waste before throwing it into the Ganga etc. Take a step forward to make a change. If not now, when?

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