(iskconnews.org) – ISKCON News | Mayapur Environmental Initiative Seeks Support for Growing Challenges in the Dham
Mayapur Clean and Green team with devotee volunteers at Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj’s place of chanting.
Mayapur Clean & Green, an environmental initiative led by Murari Mohini Devi Dasi, recently welcomed new devotee volunteers who enthusiastically contributed to the cleaning activity for several days and helped raise funds for the laborers. Their service highlights the challenges of a rapidly expanding population in Mayapur without a matching infrastructure, waste management resources, financial support, and more volunteers to keep the Holy Dham clean and safe.
Murari Mohini said, “Because of the presence of more than 200 hotels and no proper waste system, it is being disposed of indiscriminately everywhere in Mayapur, leading to the creation of illegal land fields.”
In response, some devotees from the Russian and Lithuanian communities perceived these burgeoning issues and resolved to collaborate. Murari said, “Two Russian devotees came forward to help. One of them was Antiminem Prabhu, hailing from Siberia. He likes to live in a clean place, so he decided that he would join our team for a day. Amala Bhakta Prabhu from the Russian community was another devotee who was here in Mayapur and volunteered for a few days raising some funds for us so that we were able to pay our laborers.”
The cleanup, coinciding with the Disappearance Day of Srila Prabhupada, served as an offering to him. Murari revealed, “It was the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada and we did this to honor him as an offering of love because we don’t want a school with his name on it surrounded by all kinds of waste.”
After cleaning the Bhaktivedanta National School, the team had an extensive cleaning at Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj’s place of Japa. Vladimir, a devotee from Lithuania, was here for a few days in Mayapur and did a lot of voluntary cleaning every day. Murari revealed, “We took nearly two tons of waste from underneath the Bakul tree where Babaji Maharaj used to meditate on his japa beads. We cleaned the tree and took some dry Tulsi branches from there. Then we cleaned outside the boundary wall of this holy place next to Ganga.”
She continued, “Our volunteer Antiminem Prabhu was also offering similar service in his country. Because he appreciates a clean environment, we came together because he had the same goal to live in a clean environment, especially in the holy Dham, which is considered spiritual. We believe that the holy Dham is non-different from Krishna. We have the same goal, so it was easy to coordinate.”
Murari added, “Amala Bhakta Prabhu was initially disappointed because he was expecting us to clean everything in one day. But he understood later that we could not do more due to a lack of resources and manpower. We have only four laborers and two rickshaws. If we had at least ten laborers and five rickshaws, then we could do more.”
The challenge, burgeoning and ominous, signals a crisis in Mayapur. Garbage proliferates, necessitating governmental intervention. Establishing a dedicated waste disposal team is imperative, offering a viable solution for hotels grappling with waste disposal restrictions at ISKCON land fields.
A plea echoes for infrastructure, laborers, rickshaws, and designated parking spaces to cope with the influx of waste due to the constant stream of visitors. Murari said, “Every single day, we go out, and every area needs help. We rarely get any volunteers because this is not a popular service. It’s more attractive to do garland or Pujari services, clean the temple, and distribute books. We need help. The garbage is expanding, and other services are expanding, but this kind of service is not expanding.”
The support of the devotees mentioned above serves as a beacon of hope. Their contributions, be it in the form of financial aid or specialized dustbins, fortify the resolve of Mayapur Clean and Green. Murari Mohini Devi dasi concluded, “You continue doing more service, and Krishna will send help. We see how the Lord is sending us help through these new volunteers. We are so grateful for them.”
The struggle against the encroaching tide of waste rages on. There is an urgent need for assistance, which reverberates not only for hands willing to toil but also for systemic support. We all should contribute in any way to this service of cleanliness so that it ensures that the spiritual sanctity of Mayapur endures for generations to come.
If you wish to contribute, then you can connect with them via WhatsApp or Telegram message at +919831736326 or by email.