Minister Rawat with all the three green shopkeepers
“The Green Shop Initiative” explained Himanshu Arora, a CFGD member, “is an attempt to link environment to commerce. Those shopkeepers who do not use plastic carry bags and who dispose off their garbage in a proper manner are identified and given the Green Certificate. We appeal to Doonites to look out for these Green Shops and go out of their way to shop in these places.”
“Telling people and shopkeepers to stop using plastic carry bags, without giving them an alternative, will not simply work” says Priya Maheshwari, an environmental activist. “Now with the easy availability of synthetic cloth bags with wholesalers in Hanuman Chowk, retail merchants can switch to these bags at a marginally increased price. We hope to more than compensate them for this extra expenditure by giving them a committed group of eco-sensitive buyers” she added.
Minister Rawat lauded this effort of Citizens For Green Doon and said that he was happy to know that traders were voluntarily giving up the use of plastic carry bags. He said that the Nishank Government would soon bring in a bill for banning all types of plastic bags as the harm they cause to the environment is enormous. He urged all groups working in the field to come together and work as a unified force.
CFGD Members pose with the minister after the ceremony
Virender Singh Pundir, a stationary shopkeeper, Rafeeq Rana a general merchant & Dhiraj Nandwani a Chemist were awarded the Green Shop Certificate by Mr. Trivender Singh Rawat, amid thunderous applauses and cheering by the audience. Pundir urged the Minister to hasten the process of banning plastic carry bags and while he was not using plastic on a personal conviction, everyone may not share the same conviction. Rafeeq Rana, who owns The Groccery Store in Jakhan, said that going green was the only way forwards and he was very happy to be a part of the Green Movement. The third recipient, Dhiraj Nandwani said that he would soon approach the Chemist Retailers Association in Dehradun asking them to direct their members not to use plastic carry bags. “Because a majority of medicines can go in paper bags, I use recycled newspaper bags and for the medicines in bottles, we use these Chinese cloth bags, which cost us a meager 80 paise each. If I can do it, why can’t other chemists?” he wondered.
The felicitation ceremony ended with an appeal by Citizens For Green Doon to all Doonites, not to use plastic carry bags and to look out for and shop in Green Shops. “We hope to conduct another round of felicitation soon” said a tired but happy Ruchi Singh Rao, a CFGD activist, who had come to the ceremony with her 6yr old Rhea. Ruchi revealed that the group had already talked to over 95 shopkeepers in Rajpur Road area and more ‘green converts’ were soon expected. “To conclude” she says “To all Doonites, Happy Green Shopping!”
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