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Proper Waste Management: Need of the hour

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India is the second most populous country, which has about 16% of the world population and 2.4% of the land area. Rapid industrialization in the last few decades have led to the depletion of precious natural resources in India depletes and pollutes resources continuously. Furthermore, the rapid industrial developments have, also, led to the generation of huge quantities of hazardous wastes, which have further aggravated the environmental problems in the country by depleting and polluting natural resources. Therefore, rational and sustainable utilization of natural resources and its protection from toxic releases is vital for sustainable socio-economic development.

Hazardous waste management is a new concept for most of the Asian countries including India. The lack of technical and financial resources and the regulatory control for the management of hazardous wastes in the past had led to the unscientific disposal of hazardous wastes in India, which posed serious risks to human, animal and plant life.

Majority of Indian rivers are polluted because of industrial and human waste. There has been efforts by the state, but they are too little and too late. There has been a sudden increase in the number of deaths of fresh water fishes. The dolphins in the Ganga River have been choking to death in the highly toxic water. “The dolphin needs as much protection as the tiger. It is a flagship species for the river. If the dolphin is gone tomorrow the river will also be dead,” a scientist at WWF, Dr Sandeep Behera says.

The problem is not restricted to rivers or industrial towns. Waste management is a problem that all of us face. No matter how posh an area might be, miserable waste management can be seen. Public parks and roads are often littered with garbage. The processing of the garbage is also not given much thought. It is thrown in the dumping grounds without following the rules required for its management.

Now the big question is, who is responsible? The state or the public?

Public often complain that the government is responsible for clearing out the mess. On the other hand the government feels the citizens are not doing their bit as they continue littering.

The thing is that there should be a partnership between the two, the state should provide the means and the people should take initiative.

In a recent interview Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada, V Ponnuraj, urged the public to cooperate with the administration to implement the solid-waste management scheme effectively.

He was speaking after inaugurating a workshop on the subject of elected representatives of local self-government institutions, officers and NGO volunteers of undivided Dakshina Kannada district organized by the ministry of municipal administration, state infrastructure development scheme and municipal administration reformation programme here.

Ponnuraj said people have to separate bio-degradable and non-degradable waste at their homes itself so that waste can be managed easily.

In this regard he said that the solid-waste materials should be collected by visiting every household. To avoid pollution, the waste should be directly dumped into the tractors, he said, and suggested involving self-help groups, pourakarmikas, and even outsourcing this work.

Under present circumstances, solid-waste management is a challenge as people have started opposing areas being earmarked for waste management; as they cause damage to the environment. A community-centered scheme involving all would help tackle the problem, he said.

Realising how grim the situation is, the government, NGOs and the local community has been working hard to improve the situation.

India is the first country that has made constitutional provisions for protection and improvement of the environment. In the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution, Article 48-A of Chapter IV enjoins the state to endeavor for the protection and improvement of the environment and for safeguarding the forest and wild life of the country.

In Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution, one of the fundamental duties of every citizen of India is to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.

Many state governments are providing free recycling and garbage sorting facilities to local communities. Delhi government has installed many garbage plants and have provided separate dustbins for bio-degradable and non- degradable waste.

NGOs have mobilized people and are working with hospitals to manage and process their waste properly.

The waste management can be a success if all of us do our bit for the environment with full co-operation from the government and NGOs.

Drop in a comment below or mail us at info@youthkiawaaz.com, you can also tweet us at @YouthKiAwaaz.

The writer is a correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz

image: http://knowledge.allianz.com/en/media/galleries/india_waste_garbage_recycling.html
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You must be to comment.
  1. Environment

    Great ideas.

  2. elias sunny

    thanks ,does it mention about the need in modern world?

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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