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Vivek Gurav With His Efforts Towards A Litter-free Environment

Are you familiar with Plogging? It is a portmanteau of  “jogging” and “plocka upp”
(Swedish word for pickup). Plogging benefits your body and mind as well as the environment. Plogging gained popularity in Sweden in 2016 when teams of runners joined forces to pick up trash as they went. It inspired the young techie to adopt a safe and environmentally friendly concept that made our nation proud today.

Vivek Gurav, an Indian student from the University of Bristol in southwest England through his activities, encourages people to keep their local streets clean. He is an Environmentalist, Founder of Pune Ploggers and a Public speaker.

Academic background

He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the MIT Academy of Engineering in Pune and his master’s in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Bristol. He is continuing his plogging missions while working with an environmental consulting firm.

Pune Ploggers

Vivek Gurav formed the Pune Pluggers, a pioneering squad that logs every weekend in various parts of Pune, dedicated to eradicating plastic from the environment. They launched their first community plogging campaign in 2019 and are currently plogging firmly throughout India.

Smart School Initiative

Vivek searched for a public school that accepted students from marginalised sections. He adopted a school in Alandi where he implemented the Smart School Initiative as well as other programmes for skill development, health and value education, neurobics training, meditation and yoga.

 The Need To Launch A Mission

While attending a bachelor’s course in Pune, Vivek went for an evening walk to the Indravati River and noticed garbage and plastic material being dumped in the river and nearby areas. Gurav and his companions criticised the local authority and the government for these activities. However, he felt that it was the moral responsibility of the people to preserve the standards of cleanliness and maintain the city. As a result, they organised a team and chose the Indrayani River for a massive cleanup effort.

The Movement Started To Take Off

Because of his efforts, Indrayani’s littering rate has decreased, and he was determined to clean the city’s public areas in addition to the rivers. Pune Ploggers has completed over 368 campaigns and gathered a thousand tonnes of trash.

From The Status Of A Ragpicker To A Plogger

Gurav was earlier known as rag-picker, kabadiwala and kacharawala, but later he developed a persona where people called him plogger. Pune Ploggers are unique as they never accept financial contributions from anyone.

Community Drive

Most of the collected garbage is sent for segregation. Recyclable waste is segregated and sent for recycling, while the rest is sold to local kabadwalas as a source of income. In addition to using recycled cigarette butts, non-recyclable plastic trash is used to create Eco-Brick. Village women recycle and sell glass bottles to earn extra money.

Bristol Ploggers

After attending the University of Bristol, he started the Bristol Ploggers, a 140-volunteer group. Gurav was honoured for organising more than 140 volunteers to clear more than 3,750 kilogrammes of rubbish through his 250 running challenges throughout Bristol.

Encouraging Others

He motivates others by altering mindsets, encouraging proper garbage disposal, raising awareness through colleges and schools, speaking to local communities, and engaging them in this cause.


Vivek Gurav represented India at the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub and the SDG Action Campaign-led MYWorld2030 Asia-Pacific Advocacy Programme. He received the 2019 Indian Youth Award and the REX Karmaveer Chakra Award for his strong engagement in a variety of social concernsHe has won the UK Prime Minister’s “Points of Light Award” for “inspiring volunteers” who “make a difference” in their communities.

Vivek Gurav is the pioneer of community-driven climate action campaigns in India and the UK, with extensive features in media channels like BBC, NDTV, IndiaTimes and more. Along with his volunteers, he collected thousands of tons of garbage. It requires effort, wisdom, and kindness. Gurav strives to educate people about the Sustainable Development Goals and climatic action.

Credits and reference