On 20th August 2017, hosts from the Delhi Home Sharing Club and neighbouring areas got together with the Airbnb team for their first cleanliness awareness drive in the city. We chose Gupta Colony, which is part of North Delhi and home to several heritage monuments from the Mughal era.
The team was led by Airbnb host Manjula, a resident of Gupta Colony, who is deeply passionate about giving back to her community. She runs a sewing center in her basement to offer free tailoring lessons to local people and organises regular cleanliness drives in Gupta Colony. “I want to see my neighbourhood being clean, safe and a better place to stay for everyone,” says Manjula.
Here’s the story of our Cleanliness Drive!
Ten Airbnb hosts and three members of the Airbnb team gathered at Manjula’s beautiful home, and after a small brief on the whole activity, we went down to the street, where another seven enthusiastic members of Gupta Colony’s Residential Welfare Association (RWA) were waiting to join us.
Hosts split into small groups and started collecting garbage from the street while Manjula used a loudspeaker to talk about the importance of a clean environment and requested everyone in her neighbourhood to acknowledge the valuable time and effort that people from other parts of the city were devoting to make their neighborhood clean and beautiful.
Once the cleaning was completed, we reached out to local shopkeepers and street hawkers (vegetable and fruit sellers) to distribute waste bins and jute bags. We encouraged them to keep the bins in front of their shops and requested that they use jute bags instead of plastic bags for customers.
With encouragement from the hosts, the shopkeepers took a cleanliness pledge by pasting stickers in their shop, which says “ I am committed to keeping my shop, house, neighbourhood and country clean”. We hope that the stickers would stay on long after we are gone, to raise awareness among people about their individual, day-to-day, constant responsibility to keep their surroundings clean.The President of the RWA met everyone and appreciated the community efforts to educate their Colony members and local businesses about the importance of cleanliness and environmental responsibility. The RWA has posted the whole activity on their Facebook page, showing immense support for the initiative. (Facebook link)
The best takeaway of the day was the sense of accomplishment and pride on everyone’s faces as we felt great about contributing to the local community. It was gratifying to see the enthusiasm of even children volunteers and their passion for their neighborhoods at such a young age!
Finally, being a true Airbnb host, Manjula treated us to tasty snacks, tea and juices! Special thanks to Manjula and her husband who are the epitome of Airbnb’s community values!