Indian plogger Vivek Gurav has won the prestigious Points of Light award from the United Kingdom government. The George H.W. Bush daily Points of Light Awards honours individuals who demonstrate the transformative power of service, and who are driving significant and sustained impact through their everyday actions and words that light the path for other points of light.
Gurav has been plogging – the act of picking up trash and litter while jogging – in the UK since he came to the University of Bristol on a scholarship in September 2021. He had begun plogging while he was in his home city of Pune, even before he stepped in the United Kingdom. His initiative in Pune had seen hundreds of volunteers pick up 1,000 tonnes (and counting) of rubbish.
After joining the university, he started ‘Bristol Ploggers’, a 140-strong volunteer group that has picked up 3,750kg of litter from all over the city. “Twelve nationalities are involved in the group and they have covered 400 miles of streets,” says the Master’s student.
“It is an honour to receive an award from the UK government. I hope this will really support and amplify our cause,” said Vivek.
Vivek is currently back in Pune researching on his dissertation. He will return to Bristol next week.
Professor Judith Squires, acting vice-chancellor and president of the University of Bristol, said: “Vivek’s drive to change the world for the better is nothing short of inspiring. Together with his volunteers he has picked up thousands of tonnes of rubbish. It has taken hard work, intelligence and generosity of spirit – all traits that Vivek has in spades.”
“We are delighted that his amazing work on the streets of Bristol, Pune and further afield has been recognised by the Prime Minister.”
After finishing his Environmental Policy and Management MSc, Vivek plans to stay in the UK. He hopes to gain more knowledge and experience in the sustainability sector so he can take that know-how to India.
He added, “I want to learn as much as possible so I can come home with insights. I’m really passionate about bridging the gap between developed and developing countries’ climate knowledge. That’s why I wanted to come to the UK to study climate science.”International, News