Dirty water flows, foul-smelling waste, or dozens of injection needles have not discouraged the Sai Gon Xanh (Green Sai Gon) squad, a group of young people in Ho Chi Minh City who voluntarily collect waste from canals, from pursuing the meaningful work even when the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday is around the corner.
On Sunday, or the 24th day of the 12th lunar month, other people hurriedly returned to their hometowns, tidied up and decorated their houses, or went shopping, while five members of the Sai Gon Xanh squad collected waste on a smelly canal under the An Phu Bridge in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City.
“Members in the group come from farming families, so they are not afraid of hardship and difficulties,” said Nguyen Luong Ngoc, 27, whose nickname is Shin, the leader of the group.
“I formed this group as I was inspired by the Padawara group, which also pursues the same voluntary work in Indonesia.
“We upload videos [on social networks] so that viewers will feel like they are also joining our waste collection activities, thus spreading our messages to other people easily.”
Despite protecting the environment, the group has been denigrated as wasting time, ‘a fool for others’ pains,’ or vain attempts.
However, they ignore these comments and keep doing their voluntary work. Their only concern is many people’s littering habit, which has polluted the environment.
Therefore, after cleaning up canals, they ask local residents to erect such signs as ‘Please do not litter’ or ‘No littering,’ in the hope of improving local residents’ awareness of protecting the environment to turn Ho Chi Minh City into a green city.