The city of Siliguri held an awareness rally wherein common citizens walked alongside the elected representatives and city officials to raise awareness regarding a “Clean and Green Siliguri” on the 15th of April. The activity was carried out on the occasion of Bengali New Year, which is the first day of the year as per the lunar calendar that is followed in many parts of India, including West Bengal.
The participation of the citizens was overwhelmingly high across age groups and work spheres, which included students from schools and colleges, youth clubs, housewives, working professionals, elderly, businessmen, civil society workers and so on.
The walk and its huge participation can be attributed to Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) funded CapaCITIES project, through which intensive capacity building activities and awareness generation meetings have been undertaken in schools and societies over the past few weeks for the SUNYA initiative.
The CapaCITIES project through the SUNYA initiative has captured the city’s imagination. Not only the two pilot wards where SUNYA is being implemented, but other wards are also keenly watching the initiative’s progress.
As such, the city administration decided to take the message of a clean and green city with a special focus on abstaining from plastic carry bags across the city, and towards this the pan city walk was organised.
The walk was especially important for CapaCITIES as it indicates that the project has been able to bring the limelight on one of the key urban issues plaguing the city of Siliguri. It also holds a special significance for the city as the initiative was akin to a New Year resolution pledge to make the city clean and green.