TEPF, educational institutions join hands to clean up city

LAHORE: The Environment Protection Fund (TEPF), a start-up non-profit organisation, dedicated to inculcating social responsibility through community service, organised a clean Lahore campaign on Sunday.Students of various educational institutions wearing white caps and specially prepared aprons and gloves took part in the initiative.The starting point of the project was the Beaconhouse School and from there, students worked down the Zafar Ali Road. Volunteers from the National College of Business Administration & Economics (NCBAE), Lahore Grammar School for Girls, and the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department participated in the campaign. WAPDA Chairman, Shakil Durrani, SWM Assistant Director, Chaudhry Aslam, and TEPF Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zar Aslam, also joined students in the campaign.Talking to Daily Times CEO TEPF, Zar Aslam, said, “Our strategy is to accomplish social change through advocacy, awareness campaign and to lobby for change in government policy (at the federal and provincial level), such that it mandates 48 hours of community service in the private and public industry verticals.” These hours could be completed in four-hour slots under our environmental projects, she added.Zar said TEPF would provide programmes, projects, tools and certification for community work under the clean, green and protect initiatives. She said, “Our objective is to turn social responsibility through community work into a grassroots movement.”Zar told about the funds that TEPF would operate under the auspices of a US-based board of directors and a Pakistan-based board of trustees. She informed that initially, TEPF will have two chapters, one based in California and the second in Lahore. She further said that the focus of the California chapter is fund raising, oversight and to serve as an advisory board.

The Pakistan chapter is tasked with broader responsibilities, including fund-raising, lobbying for policy change, helping build the organisation structure, designing and developing TEPF’s community work projects, and oversight, she said. WAPDA Chairman, Shakil Durrani, said that the campaign would attract other citizens to join them in cleaning their own city. He said that basically SWM was responsible for cleaning the city but the students and TEPF gave a message to high-ups and other citizens that they should also feel their responsibilities.SWM Assistant Director, Chaudhry Aslam, said he appreciated the campaign of TEPF as they had brought the students of elite educational institutes and it would attract other citizens to feel their responsibility of cleaning their own city. He said that SWM alone could not clean the city, citizens should also join hands for this purpose and TEPF’s work was really appreciable in this regard – Dailytimes