Navi Mumbai youths make shelters for street dogs using waste plastic. Using innovative ideas such as using plastic to make bottle bricks, a group of youngsters from Navi Mumbai made a shelter home for street dogs in their free time. A group of young people in Navi Mumbai used their free time to make a dog shelter, using innovative techniques such as making bottle bricks from plastic. As soon as they completed the first one, they collected more plastic waste and installed several similar structures, especially during the monsoon season. Vashi Gupte, 18, and Khushi Shah, an admirer of the environment, formed Urvari to engage in social activities related to the environment. In 2019, they planted 10 trees every weekend, but the lockdown halted their work.
The group thought about how they could continue their work despite the restrictions and built a shelter for street dogs in the area in July last year. Following a few experiments, the group posted on social media asking people not to waste plastic bottles and instead send them to them.
Gupte said, “We have taken up small eco brick projects last July to create a home for street animals during monsoon season. On social media, we urged people to dispose of their plastic waste with us. In each bottle, we stuffed 300 grams of waste plastic wrapper, along with other things. Our outreach was mainly through social networking sites in which we asked college students to make eco bricks at home and drop them off at a drop station across the city. Over 100 people have donated the bricks. They can build a shelter with around 150 of these bottle bricks. Our agency kept it at Rajiv Gandhi Udyan, Sector 29, Vashi, after it was ready. Now, we are conducting this project on a much larger scale and plan to build a few more shelters in the coming weeks.”
They threw away hundreds of tons of plastic waste every day without being recycled, and street animals feed on this waste when they are hungry. Please donate your plastic to us and we will use it for good. In the past, we used waste plastic to make dustbins and many other useful things. During heavy rains, it does not shelter animals in this shelter home.
In a message from Shashikant Raut, councilor for Sector 29, he praised the youth and offered four-five areas near gardens in his jurisdiction as potential housing sites. After watching the efforts these children have taken to build this shelter home, Raut said, “I am really amazed.”. My area has five parks, with Rajiv Gandhi Udyan being the largest. This garden is home to over seven street dogs, who hide under benches during the monsoon. Usually, they’re thrown off the bench. As a result, I asked these youths to keep their shelter in the garden for these dogs. It is our intention to put five shelters at different locations in the gardens in the future.”