Plogging: A step into a cleaner, healthier future

When eco-fitness enthusiast Ripu Daman Bevli started to pick trash off the streets alongside his jogging regimen, a few years ago, people would curiously ask him ‘Why are you doing this?’.
His response? ‘You never ask when people litter and you’re asking me when I’m trying to clean up’. A pioneer of ‘plogging’ in India, he has been recognised by the Prime Minister himself. Bevli has an infectious enthusiasm towards creating a litter-free India.
But, what is plogging? “Plogging is a fancy term for cleaning up. It’s a combination of two words jogging + pickup in Swedish which becomes plogging. It is basically people carrying their own gloves, trash bags and running and while running whenever they see litter or trash on a road, they pick it up. I started the concept in 2017, when I introduced the idea of clean up to my running group and very organically it became “Run and Clean up”. Now I look to clean up other’s litter, the coolest thing to do in India and for that we also needed a new cool term; that’s when we came across plogging as a term which is becoming popular; we renamed ourselves “Ploggers of India” from the initial “My city, My responsibility” Bevli explained to IANSlife.
Bevli is named the Plogman of India, and he got the idea while sitting in a cafe in Delhi in 2017. It soon led him to quit his tech job to take this up full-time.
Initiated as a cool-down activity for his running group, plogging soon became popular as a way to manage the garbage crisis and stay active. What resulted was not just leaner bodies but cleaner surroundings too.
“When I introduced the concept of clean up to my running group, they couldn’t help themselves from running and cleaning up but they couldn’t run too fast if they have to pick up litter. So, we decided to make this the cool down activity of our running group and everyone loved the idea and concept; that’s how it started becoming popular.”
He now engages schools, educational institutions, NGO’s in clean-up drives, as a way to raise awareness beyond the runners’ community.
Over time, he has created a holistic full body workout called ‘Trash Workout’. “I say it’s holistic because it not just improves your physical, mental and emotional well-being, it also fights the societal misconception that the trash on the road is not our responsibility.
I say it is definitely is our responsibility. So, now we’re doing all sorts of lunges, forward bends, squats, deadlifts, and so on. Once you’ve picked up a lot of litter, think of the bags as a trashbell similar to a kettle-bell or a dumbbell and with this you could do a lot of shoulders, biceps, triceps so it is full body holistic workout.” (IANS)

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