Abu Dhabi: The Indian Ladies Association (ILA), an Indian community welfare body represented by ladies, has embarked on a year-long mission to protect the environment through a series of initiatives that include collection of discarded paper, e-waste, cleaning of beaches and tree planting in Abu Dhabi.
In an interview with Gulf News, Sunita Wagle, president of the ILA, said “We just collected 500 kg of paper from the communuity. It included used office papers, magazines, books, paper bags, notebooks, textbooks and newspapers copies.”
The ILA has committed to run sustainable environmentally friendly and social awareness campaigns in the community each month and this would continue throughout the year to educate people about the environment and seek their participation in making the world a greener place.
She said, “By the end of October, we will launch our plantation drive to encourage people to plant ghaf and neem trees. We will plant the trees and arrange for their regular irrigation. The ILA just provides a platform to the community to come forward and participate in the environmentally friendly campaigns.”
“In our previous plantation drive in July, ILA members and non-members planted 40 neem saplings in Sas Al Nakheel garden area,” Wagle said.
Those interested in adopting a sapling can call the ILA. The adoption of a sapling may cost from Dh50 to Dh150 depending on the kind of tree, soil, manure and irrigation arrangements, she added.
The ILA is one of the five Indian community organisations in the capital which are registered with the Ministry of Community Development. The other four organisations are the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC), Indian Islamic Centre, Kerala Social Centre and Abu Dhabi Malayalee Samajam.
The ILA is also planning to spread environmental awareness among labourers. As part of the mission, it will visit labour camps to handover them saplings to workers to plant.
“We are in the process of obtaining permission from the concerned labour camps,” said Wagle.
The ILA has also launched an e-waste drive to collect old and discarded mobile phones.
“Through social media sites and community members, we are spreading the word to enlist support for the e-waste collection drive. Residents are being urged to deposit their discarded electronic gadgets with the ILA,” said Wagle.
“Our aim is to take environment campiagn to every doorstep/home and reach out to every individual. We started off by planting trees and celebrating the Environment Day back in June. Today, we have taken the campaign forward and have planned some environmentally-friendly activity every month.”
“We will hand over them collected mobile phones to the Emirates Environmental Group for reuse or recycling purposes.”