Better Lifestyle through Ecological Conservation
Moneylife Digital Team 22 July 2016
Vikas Patil, the founder of Environment Conservation Association (ECA), has always been passionate about improving the ecology, at every stage in his career. When he was at TELCO, the Tata automobile major at Pune (Maharashtra), he worked at improving the quality and production rate of Tata vehicles and maintaining a healthy and safe environment on the shop floor. Later, from 2002, he got interested in river pollution, solid waste disposal, tree planting and other environment conservation activities. In 2003, he was part of an unregistered group called the Indrayani Bachav Kruti Samiti which included experts, activists and schools. As the name suggests, the group was involved in cleaning the Indrayani River, but with little formal funding. Soon people began to understand the importance of cleaning other rivers too. This led to the formation of groups such as the River Development Forum (Nadi Vikas Manch), Pawana Development Committee and Mula Conservation Committee—each focused on a specific target that allowed people to join the river cleaning and conservation close to where they lived. Although a few ‘Bal Paryavaran Sanskar Samitis’ were formed, they lacked a proper scheme of work and funds.
 
Vikas was then advised by his well-wishers and supporters to register an NGO with the charity commissioner and raise funds formally to have an effective programme and to enlist active volunteers. Thus, Environment Conservation Association (ECA) came into existence in 2011. 
 
ECA does different things— newspaper articles have described it as working in garbage collection, recycling of plastic, cleaning rivers, spreading awareness about water conservation, rainwater harvesting, planting trees, working on water, air and noise pollution and traffic issues. ECA also regularly makes Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board aware of environment issues on the ground. It has created public forums for discussion with Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), traffic police and citizens, to find solutions to environment problems.
 
A noticeable difference is seen in the areas cleaned at Pimple Nilakh, Nigdi and Akurdi where the old habits of dumping garbage are slowly beginning to change. Communities are becoming more aware about saving water and implementing the tips provided by ECA. ECA ‘Alerts’ is a PowerPoint presentation that is shown in schools and at public events, to spread awareness about important environment issues.
 
ECA is a platform for citizens to raise questions and provide suggestions which are conveyed to senior municipal officials. The response from municipal officials is also positive. The most encouraging has been the commencement of the school awareness programme for 130 PCMC schools in June 2016. It is a 32-week programme involving 30 students and two or more staff from each school. The main objective is improving the school environment and teaching practical and essential skills like saving water, rainwater harvesting, composting, minimising dry waste, reduce, reuse and recycle plastic, soil, water, reduction of air and noise pollution, observing traffic rules and compliance and doing community work. The response has been heartening and teachers have been sending photographs of their newly created student teams working on these issues.
 
ECA’s future plans are to start a monthly or quarterly publication of an environmental magazine, set up a school for environmental science with certificate, diploma and degree programmes, audit industries to control pollution and uphold pollution control norms. Also, ECA plans to promote environmental message paintings on road-side walls and encourage gardens and environment-friendly city beautification.
 
ECA is looking to improve its funding through CSR (corporate social responsibility) and private donations, since it has obtained Section 80-G certification from the I-T department. FCRA registration is also expected. Vineeta Date, a trustee with ECA says, “Keeping funds coming in every year is necessary due to ongoing projects which span different financial years.” You can join their efforts to change the city of Pune. 
 
Environment Conservation Association
Sushreeyas, Akurdi-Chikhli Road, 
Sudarshan Nagar, Chikhli, Pune - 411062 Maharashtra
Mobile: 7798811512 
Email: [email protected], 

 

Comments
Vijay Suryawanshi
5 years ago
Thanks to ECA & Team for highlighting all pollution issues in PCMC area.
You are giving tremendous efforts to make environment clean & healthy.
Thanks for taking care of our breaths.
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