Himachal honors British ‘garbage girl’ Jodie Underhill with Green Award

In a rare gesture a Briton, Jodie Underhill, was honored with the Green Hero Award by the Centre for Media Studies today at the Gaiety Theatre, Shimla. Jodie leads ‘Mountain Cleaners’ a voluntary organisation which has been collected disposable waste in and around Mcleodgunj for the past one year.

jodie underhill garbage cleaner dharamshala himachal Himachal PWD minister Gulab Singh Thakur felicitated Jodie and her team while inaugurating a two day environment film festival, Vatavaran. Speaking at the function Thakur acknowledged the contribution of Jodie and her organization and said, ‘Cleaner and greener hills were the very basis of sustaining tourism in the region’.

Speaking at the occasion Jodie said, We all need to learn to keep garbage with us till we find an appropriate dump for it.’

She announced to launch a similar operation in Manimahesh lake, a pilgrimage spot in Chamba district. “

‘The cleanliness drive in Dharamshala is quite a success and we will replicate the same project in and around the Manimahesh lake in Chamba district’, she said.

“I have come to know from some foreign trekkers, who visited the lake last year, that during the pilgrimage the devotees leave behind a huge trash that poses a serious threat to the high-altitude glacial lake,” the 34-year-old Briton said. The entire 14-km trek from Hadsar, located at a height of 6,000 feet, to the lake at 13,500 feet would be cleared of waste.

Over the last one year Mountain Cleaners have picked up tonnes of polybags, bottles, cups and plates from the Triund peak above Mcleodganj and surrounding forest areas. On an average 35 sacks of garbage are collected from the nine km stretch every week and 70% of it is plastic bottles, Jodie informed.

Jodie came to Dharamshala to sponsor the education of some Tibetan children in McLeodganj, but soon got involved in cleaning the mountains after seeing piles of garbage.

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