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Gandhigiri and roses to tackle PDA on Nigdi hill

To 'clean up' open space for morning walkers, nature lovers offer roses and advice on decency to couples they find indulging in public display of affection on Durgadevi hill

Troubled by college-going couples indulging in public display of affection that sometimes crossed the lines of decency in a public place like the Durgadevi hill, environmentalists decided it was high time a solution to the problem was found. They resolved to use Gandhigiri as their weapon, and went about offering roses to couples they found indulging in obscene acts on the hill.


Say it with a rose: Environment activists offer a rose to a couple on
Durgadevi hill and tell the lovers how their behaviour in a public place
ends up embarrassing others. Pic/Navnath Kaple


Walkers' complaint
The Durgadevi hill in Nigadi is a favourite spot for morning walkers in Pimpri-Chinchwad, but the presence of college-going couples engaging in lovemaking in full public view was putting off many exercise enthusiasts for quite some time now. When morning walkers complained about the problem, nature lovers initiated the move to offer roses and some advice on decent behaviour in public to such couples. The couples were told their public display of affection often embarrassed others.


Keep it private: Nature lovers offer a rose to a young couple and 
request them to stop indulging in public display of affection on the
Durgadevi hill, a favourite haunt of morning walkers. Pic/Navnath Kaple


Five to six activists backed by some 50 Shiv Sena women  workers began the drive and approached more than 50 couples perched in various corners on the hill. They were backed by Nigdi police beat marshals. "The Durgadevi hillside was beautified with the constant efforts of environmental activists. But exercise enthusiasts turned their back on this hill because of couples who engage in their love acts there," said Vikas Patil, president of Paryavaransanvardhan Samiti. "In addition to this, whenever we requested people not to litter plastic waste on the hill slopes, they opposed us, saying if we couldn't stop couples indulging in lovemaking in the open then we had no right to stop people from littering the slopes. They said the actions of these youngsters were equally disturbing to the social environment."

Safety of minor girls
The activists found most of the young people they approached were minor girls and college-going boys.
Shiv Sena corporator Sulabaha Ubale, who was heading the women party workers, said: "At least twice in the past cases have been registered because of widely circulated MMS of sexual exploitation of minor or college-going girls. We suspect that the girls are often threatened into giving sexual favours o their tormentors. In our bid to root out this, we are offering red roses to couples whom we find engaged in sexual acts on the hillside."

No police case filed
No police complaint was lodged in this regard. Patil said that as environmental activists they only wanted to communicate with youngsters and make a humble request to them that they should not use the hill for lovemaking. "We decided not to lodge a police case as we feel that it will ruin their careers, but we talked to them and offered them a rose, which we believe will act as a deterrent," Patil said.

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