Bhubaneswar, Jan 25: The 102nd Monks, Caves and Kings, heritage trail at the Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri saw a unique initiative in which peer leaders, volunteers and boys and girls coming under the Socially Smart Bhubaneswar project of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) joined the walk and also carried out “plogging” activities wearing protective gears while learning the stories behind the caves and Emperor Kharavela.
Plogging is an activity that is a combination of walking or jogging and picking up litter. The youths collected the trash throughout the cave trail. Sixty boys and girls from the Socially Smart Project were also joined by 25 students of School of Architecture of KIIT University, a visitor from Iran, three from Bengaluru and three employees of TCS Bhubaneswar and some more local enthusiasts. There were 90 walkers at the famous Jain site today to participate in the heritage walk under the umbrella of Ekamra Walks, the only guided heritage trail of the city.
The 60 participants from the Socially Smart Project were led by Youth Specialist Sisir Grahacharya and Gender Specialist Sarojini Brahma of BSCL. Rina Behera of Humara Bachpan Trust (HBT) coordinated the event as the peer leaders and the volunteers are from HBT, which is the implementing partner NGO of the project.
It can be mentioned here that the initiative is a collaborative effort of BSCL, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and United Nations Population Fund. The Socially Smart Bhubaneswar project was initiated in Jan 2017 in eight slums under Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (Smart District) and currently covers 100 slums of the city. It aims to bring in a qualitative social change among the youth, women and elderly in the slums across the city.