Bhaktapur municipalities gather 25 schools to clean Araniko HighwayIt’s 7 am and it is bone-chilling cold. Hundreds of masked students in school uniform, with broom in hand, walk towards the Araniko Highway from different inner roads in between Monahara River to Radha Radha—an almost 4.5 km stretch in Bhaktapur.
It’s 7 am and it is bone-chilling cold. Hundreds of masked students in school uniform, with broom in hand, walk towards the Araniko Highway from different inner roads in between Monahara River to Radha Radha—an almost 4.5 km stretch in Bhaktapur.
These class nine- and ten-students are from 25 different private and public schools partaking in an integrated Araniko Highway Cleanup campaign initiated by Madhyapur Thimi Municipality (MTM) in coordination with Surya Binayak Municipality and other local clubs.
Named after the 13th-century Nepali architect Arniko, who introduced Nepali architectural style to Tibet and China, the Araniko Highway is a crucial connecting road. And on Wednesday, along the highway, around 600 students took part in the cleanup drive in eight different junctions; Monohara, Lokanthali, Kausaltar, Gathaghar, Thimi Chardobato, Sankhadhar Chowk, Bapa Chowk, and Radhe Radhe.
“It feels warm to work together with friends and teachers to keep this historic road clean,” said Agrani Kunwar a student of Bhaktapur NIST School.
“We are here with our teachers. Being involved in this drive makes us feel more responsible for our city and environment,” said Kunwar, as she picks up a noodle wrap littered on the road at Lokanthali Chowk. “If we do not take action right now, how can
we make our city a liveable place for the future when it’s already so polluted?”
The clean-up drive that started at 7:30 am lasted till 9am. Once the campaign was over, students returned to their schools to resume classes.
Deputy Mayor of MTM, Anjana Devi Madhikarmi, said, over 30 private and public schools have shown their commitment to participate in the clean-up dive of the municipality.
“We want to make our students responsible citizens,” said Ram Subedi, Principal at Om Gyan Mandir Secondary School in Lokanthali. “We actually wanted to do this campaign earlier as part of our students’ course under Environment Science and
Social studies. The municipality came up with this plan and we participated.”
Hailing the move as a great move to building responsible citizens, education expert Binay Kusiyat said it is good that students are not being limited to their academic course. “If taken purely with a motive to serve the society, this is a welcome step,” said Kusiyat. The initiation of the municipalities and the participation of school students have encouraged locals too to keep the area clean.
“This is the first time I saw such huge participation of students early in the morning,” said Eliza Paudel, who also sent her 10th grader son to join the clean-up campaign. “This is a good start. If the municipality continues this programme, we will also join with our kids because we want to contribute in making our city clean,” she added.
The students, teachers and the clean-up campaigners removed around 10 tonnes of solid waste from eight different places on Wednesday. The highway clean-up drive was launched after campaigners completed the 43rd Hanumantey River Clean-up campaign in Bhaktapur.