Church and Government Partner for a Cleaner Rajahmundry

News Release
 

Rajahmundry, a historic city on the banks of the sacred Godavari River, has been called the cultural capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh.  Graced with ancient temples and gats, it is also the sixth largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh and home to nearly half a million people.  Like all urban areas in India, it is faced with daunting sanitation problems. When municipal leaders created a waste management plan several years ago, they knew they needed the cooperation of the local community to make it work. They found a partner in LDS Charities and the members of The Indian Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Prasad Badireddy, presiding officer of the Church in Rajahmundry, along with Church member Vidya Sagar Satyadi, collaborated with the city officials to arrange for the donation of sixteen 20 liter/96kg capacity dustbins to collect household refuse. These receptacles handle both bio-degradable (wet) and recyclable (dry) waste, benefiting 36 streets and approximately 2500 people. The city in turn will empty the dustbins daily. 

In May, President Badireddy, Mayor Panthan Rajani Sesha Sai, City Commissioner M. Sumith Kumar Gandhi and Sanitation Inspector A.M. Satyanarayana were joined by nearly one hundred citizens gathered outside the Ambedkar Community Hall to celebrate the completion of the project.  Badireddy expressed his appreciation for the municipal officers and his desire to “continue our collaboration to improve the environment and the lives of the people of Rajahmundry.”

In conjunction with the dustbin donation, young adult Church members went door to door in September to distribute fliers and encourage citizens to stop generating plastic waste. Clean-up efforts culminated this week in celebration of Gandhi’s 150th birthday when 20 young adults and Church leaders along with residents and city sanitation workers joined forces to clean the rooftop of a block of apartments adjacent to Church's meetinghouse. “Its truly amazing what we can accomplish together,” said one resident, “I am sincerely grateful for the efforts of these good people.”

Vidya Sagar Satyadi, who worked closely with the city to organize the project, expressed his appreciation of “having been made a part of it.” Here in Rajamndry as in other areas around the world where Latter-day Saints live, work and worship, the Church makes an effort to be a good neighbor.

LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is committed to supporting and assisting local organizations as they solve the problems and meet the needs of their communities. LDSC representative and resident of Rajahmundry, Allan Jolley explained, “We worked with the government of Rajahmundry to plan and implement this project using their solutions. The result will be to keep the great community of Rajahmundry City litter free.”

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