Print Edition - 2019-03-13 | News
#TrashTag gaining momentum
- Young Nepalis take up the ‘do-good’ internet challenge of cleaning public places, taking pictures and posting them online
Mar 13, 2019-
A new challenge is taking the internet by storm, and it’s helping make the world a cleaner place—one social media post at a time.The #TrashTagChallenge—which has people all over the world picking up trash and then posting before-and-after pictures of clean spaces—went viral on social media over the past few days as users on Instagram, Reddit and Twitter shared photos of themselves cleaning parks, nature trails, holiday spots, roadsides and other outdoor spaces.
And this challenge has now entered Nepal, with 19-year-old KP Khanal, a social worker and activist, started the drive by collecting garbage from the Naya Bus Park area in Gongabu. Khanal, with five other friends, collected garbage for two days last week.
A picture of Khanal and his friends with garbage bags from the Gongabu area went viral when a popular Facebook page Routine of Nepal Banda shared it on March 10. The challenge has now been shared over 333 times and liked by 19,000 people in just three days.
“We did the cleaning work late in the night so as to not disturb people’s mobility. It lasted for two hours each day,” said Khanal.
Khanal has actively been organising cleaning campaigns in the Valley for over half a decade with the motto: If I change, my country will change. When the Kathmandu Metropolitan City did not pick up trash from the city for several days in July last year, Khanal, along with other activists, had drawn the government’s attention to the problem by dumping garbage in front of Singha Durbar’s western gate as a symbolic protest.
Victor Paudel, founding admin at Routine of Nepal Banda, a popular Facebook page that satirises the government’s unpopular actions, said that after the Nepal Banda page shared Khanal’s challenge, everyday the page has been seeing an average of four youth groups sharing the #trashtag challenge. “The engagement is increasing, and there is so much positivity about it,” said Paudel. “I can see the move has left a positive impact on people,” said Paudel.
Influenced by the #TrashTag challenge, Bishnu Tamang is planning to get his hands dirty by cleaning the premises of the Jamacho Gumba. A city tour guide by profession, Tamang, who organised the drive to clean hiking trails—from Telkot to Nagarkot—on August last year, along with students of Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management, appreciated the move and told the Post that he has also accepted the challenge. “I, along with my friends, am going to Jamacho Gumba, which lies on top of Shivapuri Hill on Wednesday, as the place is filled with trash,” said Tamang. “We hope our work will send a good message to the public.”
According to TIME magazine, the idea for the #trashtag campaign started in 2015 with the initiation of UCO, an outdoor lighting company that created the hashtag to encourage people to pick up after themselves while out in the threatened wilderness areas.
Published: 13-03-2019 10:30