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Ogilvy & HUL Partner to Help People ‘Start A Little Good’at Kumbh!

Work with Kumbh Mela authorities to help ease the problem of river pollution

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MUMBAI: There are some initiatives that surprise the audience, some that make people think & then there are some rare initiatives that push people to make things better and contribute towards something substantial. Hindustan Unilever Limited’s Start A Little Good – “SwachhtakiSawari” manages to do all the above.

Empowering the boatmen community of the region, the company has joined hands with Kumbh Mela authorities in keeping the Sangam clean this year. Sangam – a confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers is considered a holy spot, a dip in it – referred to as ‘ Snaan’ – is believed to wash off one’s sins. The river is only accessible by boat and considering the volume of visitors, a substantial amount of littering (plastic bags, flowers, garlands and other offerings) ends up polluting the river. It is carelessly left to the authorities alone to manage after the mela is over, a mammoth and an almost impossible task.

To address this challenge, Hindustan Unilever partnered with Ogilvy to conceptualize a simple & innovative solution - ‘Swachhata Ki Sawari’ that aims to keep cleaning the river unceasingly. 

The mechanism involves simply attaching two nets on either side of 100 boats, which ferries devotees to and from the Sangam. Once the boat is in the river, the nets which are closed at one end, collect floating garbage during the journey and once it reaches the shore to disembark passengers, a team of cleaners remove the garbage from the nets and reinstall clean nets. The cleaners then transport the collected waste to the designated garbage area on each ghat.

Explaining the idea, KainazKarmakar and Harshad Rajadhyaksha, Chief Creative Officers, Ogilvy India (West), commented on this project, “Simplicity is the most difficult thing to achieve. This idea achieves that. Practical, low cost and highly effective, this innovation turns everyday boats into vehicles of cleanliness.”
Speaking about the newly launched initiative, Executive Director, Homecare, HUL, Priya Nair, said ‘Start A Little Good’ and ‘Swachhata Ki Sawari’ are all about finding simple yet effective solutions to tackling growing issues like plastic pollution and waste management that we face today. We hope that this initiative will benefit in keeping the Sangam clean during the Kumbh and   create awareness amongst consumers”.

On visiting Kumbh Mela, Harshvardhan Bajpai, MLA, Prayagraj North said, “To me, Swachhata Ki Sawari nets are the result of out of the box thinking; a very simple idea to a very practical problem. Deceptively basic, it’s a great example of building a sense of responsibility within the Nishad (boatmen) community and pilgrims who visit Kumbh Mela. And it’s almost poetic how the boats that ferry pilgrims to cleanse their soul in the Triveni Sangam also subconsciously help them in keeping it clean.”

The initiative managed to create a beautiful synergy between a mega brand like HUL and the limitless power of the common man to bring a sustainable change, a start for a lot of good!

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