A Swedish fitness regimen, called `plogging’, which benefits both individual health and the environment at large has gained international traction, including in India where it has a growing number of followers.
Started in 2010 by a resident of Are, a Scandinavian city which hosts a global skiing championship, plogging is an amalgam of the Swedish word ‘plocka’ which means to pick up something, and `jogging’, and involves clearing up trash while on the trot.
The Scandanavians are known for their love of nature and the schoolgirl eco-activist, Greta Thunberg, who recently led a sit-in outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm has become a role model for young environmentalists. Plogging, according to its acolytes, literally goes a step further by urging people to put their best foot forward and go to the extra mile to ensure a cleaner environment.
According to a guestimate there are already some 10,000 ploggers in India, and those contesting the on-going polls could do worse than join their ranks. The electoral fray generates a lot of the debris of democracy by way of banners, posters, and other campaign paraphernalia.
Politicians, by and large, are known to be more ego-friendly than eco-friendly, but even as they continue to give themselves a plug at rallies they might do well after such events do a spot of plogging to sort out the mess left behind, thus presenting voters with not just a Mr Clean but a Mr Clean-up image.