Shimla's 'garbage girl' to get Green Hero award

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Shimla:  The 'garbage girl' of the mountains will get a 'green' award at an environment film festival to be held in Shimla next month.

"I'm so happy and honoured. The award will be dedicated to Himachal Pradesh and all the volunteers who have helped to make the mountain cleaning dream a reality," said Jodie Underhill, a British national.

Jodie came to Dharamsala in January on a tourist visa to sponsor the education of some Tibetan children but soon got involved in cleaning the mountains after seeing piles of garbage.

"Every Monday and Tuesday we visit Triund (the popular trekking route overlooking this town) to collect waste like polythene and paper bags, empty beer and liquor bottles, old tents, food item sachets and clothes. On an average, we are collecting 35 sacks of garbage from the nine-km stretch every week," she said.

Underhill said 70 per cent of what they collect at Triund is plastic bottles.

"During the garbage collection drive, we also educate the local people and vendors about the scientific disposal of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste," the 34-year-old Briton said.

The film festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The WWF-India is its organising partner.

"We will honour Jodie with 'Green Hero' award at the inauguration of a three-day Shimla CMS Vatavaran-Environment and Wildlife Travelling Film Festival and Forum 2010 beginning July 2. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal will present the award to her," said Vishwajeet Ghoshal, Assistant Project Manager with New Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS).


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