What started out as a cleanliness drive in a small village in the mountains of Chitral, has now transformed into a countrywide campaign to safeguard wildlife, trees, rivers and wetlands, and promoting hygienic practices in homes and neighbourhoods.
Moreover, by documenting the life histories of prominent personalities from Chitral, CHEPS has been at the forefront of preserving the cultural memory of Chitral for future generations. In the wake of the disastrous floods in Chitral, and elsewhere in the country, in July/August 2015, the CHEPS’ advocacy campaign for planting more trees, for safeguarding existing ones, and for promoting environmentally sustainable social practices has assumed ever greater importance.
It is in this context that CHEPS organized the third cleanliness drive of 2016, the first two being in Karachi and Lahore in January, on Sunday, 14 February, in the scenic Shakarparian park of Islamabad. Carrying banners and trash bags, CHEPS’ volunteers went around the park and picked plastic bags, rappers, bottles and other waste left by those frequenting the park.
Young CHEPS volunteers from the twin cities pledged their continued support for environment-friendly activities by a appointing a coordinator who will ensure that CHEPS’ volunteers actively participate in upcoming tree plantation activities.
Rehmat Ali Jaffar, Chairman CHEPS, reiterated his resolve to push for greater and more effective involvement of all stakeholders in the campaign to safeguard the natural environment for the future generations of Pakistan. He emphasized the role of young people in this endeavour by terming them agents of positive change in the society. Rehmat Ali welcomed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation campaign and said that CHEPS will take active part in the drive by planting 0.1 million trees in Chitral in 2016. CHEPS will hold its next cleanliness drive in Peshawar.