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GREEN HERO JODIE IS HOME ON THE RANGE
A woman from Oxenhope has been dubbed Womble Wonder and Garbage Girl by Indian newspapers.
Jodie Underhill, 34, set up Mountain Cleaners, a voluntary organisation dedicated to ridding some of Asia’s highest terrain of unsightly and harmful litter.
She went to the far north of India in January on a tourist visa to sponsor the education of children from Tibet.
But she became involved in cleaning the mountains of Himachal Pradesh state after seeing piles of rubbish spoiling the slopes.
She and her fellow volunteers regularly visit Triund, a popular mountain trekking route.
There they collect waste like junk food wrappers, bottles, plastic and glass.
“On an average, we are collecting 35 sacks of garbage from the nine-kilometre stretch every week,” she said. She added that 70 per cent of what they collected at Triund was plastic bottles.
In honour of her contribution Jodie was presented with a Green Hero award at the inauguration of a three-day environment and wildlife travelling film festival.
Jodie used to live in Beatrice Street, Oxenhope, and was a pupil at Oakbank School.
She has previously been a fundraising assistant for Sue Ryder Care at Manorlands.
She said: “I intend to return to the UK in January 2011 but only to apply for a five-year visa for India.
“There is much work still to be done here.”
Her group has its own website at mountaincleaners.org and also has a page on Facebook.
It is now planning a mass clean-up at the holy pilgrimage destination of Manimahesh.
Mountain Cleaners will encourage people to bring their rubbish back with them from the site and dispose of it at a waste and recycling drop-off point.