Green, Goes Hyderabad!
Hyderabad Goes Green (HGG) is a unique initiative that promotes green living while mobilising employment by working with local NGOs.
IIT graduates Abhinav Gangumalla and Santosh Banpur gave up their jobs as transportation planner and electrical engineer respectively after three years of corporate life. They launched their venture Hyderabad Goes Green and nothing makes them happier than selling eco-friendly products or holding eco-awareness workshops.
"We bridge the gap between people who want to adopt a green lifestyle and those selling green products and services," says Abhinav.
Hyderabad Goes Green was first launched as an online store in September, 2010 with the physical store that houses eco-friendly ware coming into being in July, 2011. As their first project, they sold a ton of natural Holi colours made by tribals, in collaboration with other partners.
Home composting or the practice of converting domestic waste into useful gardening manure, is another area of their work.
"We educate people and introduce them to a greener lifestyle by working on waste management and green cover (like roof gardens) solutions with them," says Santosh.
“After working in almost all major cities in the country, I finally decided to come back to Hyderabad in June 2009. But the scene had completely changed by the time I came back. Hyderabad was more polluted, the environment had gone to dogs and I realized that it wasn't the city that I loved anymore,” he reminisces. "I didn't like what I saw. Everybody says plant a tree, save the earth. The point is, the earth will save itself eventually, and the question is will you?" Abhinav remarks.
It was then that Abhinav decided to "be the change" and actively work for a cleaner and greener Hyderabad. Santosh Banapuram, his old classmate in Little Flower Junior College and now COO of Hyderabad Goes Green, was instrumental in this move. "It's our duty to leave some earth for our kids," says Santosh.
Leaving a well-paying job to save the environment cannot be easy. "My mother didn't like it initially," says Abhinav. "I have had all the comforts in life, now I have to travel by cheaper means. But I guess she is happy now — she knows I am happy doing what I do now."
Hyderabad Goes Green's (HGG) first, modest project, manufacture of organic holi colours, drew a huge response.
Abhinav recalls, "It was just a bench with organic colours in an empty room and one colour was leaking from the pack because of its fine texture. I had to explain to each customer, but they smiled back and said, 'it's all right; you guys are doing something good.' If you look at it from my side, it's not like people don't want to be eco-friendly, it's just that they don't know how to."
Now HGG conducts workshops for corporate offices on their Green Days or Impact Days. The team is often asked to deliver lectures and speeches at these corporate initiatives. To connect children with nature, HGG is installing square foot gardens. The team recently installed square foot gardens at Bhavans School to educate children on urban farming by growing organic vegetables on their school terrace.
HGG also puts up stalls of eco-friendly products. Another area of focus for HGG is composting.
Abhinav, Santosh and their team are happy that every day they save 250 kg of waste from getting dumped in the landfill; small beginnings for big ideas.
Read more about HGG here:http://www.hyderabadgoesgreen.com/http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article2322015.ece--Prerana Manvi