Published: 01st October 2019
How these Earthlings are trying to bring Hyderabad's green cover back
Sriram hails from a family of farmers in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. He moved to Hyderabad in 2008 and has seen the city lose its green cover every day
Sriram Arumilli's journey as the environment's saviour started when he saw a tree been chopped off for a road extension project near Suchitra Junction in Hyderabad and his attempts to stop it went in vain. "I was alone and no one cared to listen to what I had to say," says the 28-year-old co-founder of Earthlings, an NGO fighting for the environment.
But it did not happen overnight. Sriram volunteered at The Green Nest and was also the President of the organisation till it shut shop in 2016. That's when the idea of setting up Earthlings came up. Sriram, along with Gowtham Reddy in Chennai and a few friends, co-founded the organisation to keep India clean and save the already depleting environment from a worse fate. "I decided to start an NGO on my own because I felt this is the work I should do and that we all need to protect the environment. There were only five of us then and now we are a family of more than 100 active volunteers in Hyderabad," says Sriram.
The Earthlings have cleaned up after marathons across the city — cleaning and picking up plastic bottles, cups, paper, and food items and much more. The Earthlings collaborates with experienced workers from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to segregate the collected waste which the NGO then disposes of properly.
Sriram hails from a family of farmers in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. He moved to Hyderabad in 2008 and has seen the city lose its green cover every day. Do his rural roots help him connect with his mission better? "Yes, coming from a rural background, I am more aware of keeping the house and its surroundings clean and the importance of having trees around our homes," says the engineer. "In villages, we have trees everywhere, especially around schools and houses. People spend time to safeguard them. We are spreading the message of not only planting the trees but also taking care of those saplings," he adds.
Keeping the city clean is just one part of what the organisation does. They are also helping beautify the city — removing posters, painting the walls and then painting quotes that they hope will sensitise the city folk of the garbage they produce and just throw away without understanding the consequences. "A common man can reduce the usage of plastic by carrying their own cloth bag, own water bottle and using dustbins for garbage disposal. Most importantly, by planting at least one sapling near their home and taking care of it will change the world," says Sriram.
Talking about the future of Earthlings, Sriram says, "We have plans to expand to Tier-2 cities across India and also cover the rest of Telangana an Andhra Pradesh. We will also strengthen our activities in Bangalore and Chennai."