Chandigarh, Oct 2 (IANS) A students organisation wants to turn Chandigarh into a city of vegetarians. They've made a good beginning by persuading the owner of a non-vegetarian eating joint to switch over to vegetarian food.
Members of YES!+ club (Youth empowerment and skills workshop), a youth wing of Art of Living, have brought this change with the power of persuasion.
'We were on a tree plantation drive at Punjab Engineering College (PEC) here when we noticed a restaurant operating inside the campus, offering non-vegetarian food to the students,' Himani Datta, a volunteer of YES!+, told IANS.
'We went to the owner of the joint and talked to him. We apprised him of the bad effects of non-vegetarian food on the health of the person and on the environment. After a long discussion with the owner, we finally convinced him,' Himani said.
'In return, we helped the owner design his new menu, catalogues and placards. Students of various colleges of the Panjab University (PU) contributed to this effort,' she added.
'We were serving non-vegetarian food for commercial reasons. Seeing the enthusiasm of these young students and on their continuous insistence I decided to change the menu to vegetarian,' said Praveen Fakay, owner of Combo Food.
'I was impressed with their straightforward way of directly approaching me and I am sure that this bunch of students can bring a big change in society,' said Fakay.
'I am proud to be a part of this initiative and I firmly stand for vegetarianism and urge all youngsters to adopt it,' said Pranav Talwar, another volunteer and a student of electrical engineering at PEC.
'Now we are planning to approach other prominent non-vegetarian eating joints in the city. Our endeavour is to make this whole city vegetarian,' Talwar said.
'It is a proven reality that we will become healthier both physically and emotionally if we lead a vegetarian lifestyle. We will conduct seminars and campaigns all over the city to educate the masses about the benefits of vegetarian diet and woo them to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle,' said Himani.
She added that there are around 100 active volunteers of YES!+ in the city.
All volunteers of YES!+ here have adopted vegetarianism.
Other activities of YES!+ include educating masses about global warming, pollution, taking out cleanliness drives and planting trees.
(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)