PUNE: On the occasion of World Earth Day, Pune Road Runners, a group of 100 runners from across the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad, embraced the Swedish trend of picking up trash while jogging and also to help the cause of ‘Swachh Bharat’. The event was held on Pune Race Course Jogging Track on Sunday.
The inspiration of the runners was initiated by a popular trend and fitness craze in Sweden named ‘Plogging,’ which essentially combines jogging with picking up trash while turning it all into a social event and benefit too.
“The trash collected at the race course contained toffee, chocolates, biscuit, snacks, pan masala or tobacco wrappers made of plastic or metal foils. It also had cigarette boxes, used cigarette buds, beer and alcohol glass bottles, plastic water and beverages bottles and polythene bags. After the intensive effort and workout of around 60 minutes, we collected a whopping total of 50 kg of trash and submitted it to the clean city initiative by Adar Poonawalla Foundation,” said Rohit Roy, spokesperson and member of Pune Road Runners.
He further added, “I feel the plogging event had a multi-fold effect of making our surroundings cleaner and keeping ourselves fit simultaneously. Moreover, the initiative made us realise that when we take a first small step towards goodness, a lot of others also join and support us in the task. Like a lot of walkers, joggers, children joined us to help this cause today. Initially, we were just 15 participants when we started to jog at 6 am but within 15 minutes, we became a group of 30 to 35 people. That was the biggest motivation for us to continue such good things.”
Pawan Kumar, participant and member of Pune Road Runners, said, “We were jogging in pairs and each person was provided with gloves and trash bags. We have also instructed each and every pair to collect only dry waste and they collected around five to seven kg of trash from the stretch of 2.2 km race course jogging track. The participants are trained joggers to run from 5 to 40 km in a go but we were more conscious about the other persons, who joined us later getting impressed by our activity.”
Doctor Vivek Billampelly, a member who volunteers for the runners group with health precautions and fitness tips, said, “The precautions were instructed to runners to have a light meal before coming for the run. They were also instructed to bring a bottle of water and remain hydrated during each lap. The runners were wearing caps and goggles to avoid the glare of the sun and were directed to use squats and lunges to pick up trash instead of a lazy bend down from the back.”