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A clean Bangladesh by 2021

  • Published at 02:22 pm August 6th, 2019
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The campaign started off by clearing litter from footpaths, fields, river banks and roadsides throughout Dhaka Courtesy

BD Clean has an inspiring vision of cleaning up the streets of Bangladesh

BD Clean – which inspires to turn Bangladesh into a cleaner and healthier nation – is Bangladesh’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign and was first launched in 2016. 

In July in 2016, a group of passionate youth roaming through Gulshan, collected waste and garbage by themselves with a higher purpose amid the heightened security. 

Police and members of law enforcement agencies offered cooperation and did not bar the youths from cleaning the city's posh neighbourhood, considering their noble intention.

In the early hours of June 3 in 2016, a group of 24 youths started their mission from Dhaka's Shahbagh intersection - whose selfless acts of determination has now fanned across the country, reaching 54 districts. 

BD Clean draws its strength from the support of selfless volunteers |Courtesy

The campaign started off by clearing litter from footpaths, fields, river banks and roadsides throughout Dhaka. The campaign also garnered publicity through the use of posters and other activities, highlighting the importance of cleaning up the city. 

Their core message is that Bangladesh will become clean through the actions of its own people. 

As more and members have been inspired to engage community volunteering in order to bring about a significant positive change in the society, the member count of BD Clean has risen to a whopping 17,246 as of July 2019.

BD clean, a youth voluntary organization, tends to create mass awareness on the importance of having a clean environment and its benefits. To achieve that goal, it draws its strength from the support of selfless volunteers. These members consist of youth from different communities, who partake in social, charitable and environmental activities on a voluntary basis.

The group encourages people to put waste material into litter bins. The central message is one of individual responsibility. 

The founder’s vision

Farid Uddin, the founder of BD Clean, believes that education and awareness are of utmost importance, if we are to successfully keep our environment green and clean.

A graduate from Dhaka University, he drew immense attention to his work through the use of social media. 

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, the highly ambitious student of Fine Arts expressed his profound determination towards his goal and of optimism about the future of the country.

He said: "It is the duty of all to keep his or her own neighbourhood clean. The citizens themselves can keep the capital and other cities clean. No directives or government actions would do any good unless people realize, by being conscientious members of the society, the urgency of a cleaner and safer Bangladesh."

Funding, operations, campaigns

The organization has identified two sources of funding. Primarily, the organization started functioning through own funding, and later also received charitable donations from various organizations, which arrange cleaning programs and competitions in the educational institutions. 

Meanwhile, given the  ongoing floods and erosion along the main river banks of the country, BD Clean has already launched campaigns in flood affected areas and hosted awareness events.

Recently, an eight-week campaign titled “Clean Campus, Green Campus” is being held at 1,453 educational institutions across Bangladesh. 

Each team, consisting of 101 members, represented different schools and colleges. These teams ran awareness campaigns about waste management, and highlighted the fact that keeping our neighbourhoods clean is beneficial for everyone.

They also encouraged the education institutions to cover at least 20% of their premises with green trees. Following successful campaigns, a vast majority of the institutions have taken steps to use dust bins. 

Moreover, the students, inspired by BD Clean, took photographs of how much they have cleaned and shared the photographs on social media, said Farid.

For Dhaka city, BD Clean delegated two coordinators, one each for Dhaka North and Dhaka South.

Farid draws inspiration from the language movement in 1952 and the Liberation War in 1971. 

He said: "Our youths took charge of their destiny, and transformed challenges into motivation and courage in 1952 and 1971. I think change may not be possible immediately but transformation of our society is very much possible if the youth come forward.

“I have a dream of developing a 'Clean Bangladesh' for the next generation of youths by 2021 – the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence."