Raghu volunteers on his weekly off.

Bengaluru taxi driver leads by example picks up waste the moment someone litters
news Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 09:00

If you are wondering whether prime minister’s Narendra Modi’s Swacch Bharath has made an impact on anyone, then this 31-year-old Bengaluru-based taxi driver is definitely in the list.

“I will pick up garbage every time I see a person litter, until it pricks their conscience,” says Raghu who is an airport taxi driver with Mega cabs.

Raghu, a resident of Peenya in the outskirts of Bengaluru, has volunteered to clean the city.

“I studied up to 12th standard and started working as a daily wager after that. But all through those years I wanted to do social work, but never found the time or maybe I thought I did not have the time,” he says.

“I took up the job of chauffer in 2010. It was in November 2015 I realised that I am not going to be able to find time exclusively for social work, so I decided why not do my bit while I am in the job,” he says.

Raghu’s family members were against it as they thought it was embarrassing them. “Their perception changed, when I got a token of appreciation from work and from others.”

“Now I make it a point to keep my car clean for every customer. On my weekly off on Tuesdays I visit places near my house,” he says.

Asked whether he goes up to warn people against littering, he says ,”We can tell children, but older people take offence. If I see them littering, I go there and pick the trash up and throw it in the closest dustbin.”

“If there is no dustbin, I put it in a trash bag that I carry along,” he added.

This anti-littering crusader is trying to get in touch with other groups, who are working towards a litter-free neighbourhood. He has also started a Facebook page – Swacch Bharatha.

“I have sent a message to various groups on Facebook. If I can work with a group, I feel I can do a lot more,” he says.

Raghu’s next goal is to get dustbins installed in every area of the city.

“I am looking for a dustbin manufacturer, who can provide bin for every area in the city. It would be great if someone could help me with that,” he adds.