This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Be a Bridge for Change - BBC. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Hi, I am your ‘Dustbin’. Could You Please Listen To Me Once?

More from Be a Bridge for Change - BBC

To Every Citizen Of This Country

Hello all, I am the most commonly found item in every public place, residential area, office, city, etc. I am probably one of the most ill-treated and widely exploited human-made products, a ‘Dustbin’. You find me in different forms, colours, and shapes, and I am usually made of plastic/metal.

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński and Gary Chan on Unsplash Edited by Be a Bridge for Change (BBC)

I have been bearing the pain of carrying waste in every possible form throughout my life. Having said this, I am not immune to the senseless actions of my creators and users around me. No one can see how many times I cry a day. You might wonder, what is this dumb thing is saying? I was born to collect rubbish, not speak rubbish. Let me explain.

People always throw waste of different forms without sorting it at the source. As a result, I end up carrying the waste every time to a nearby landfill or water body. These days, poor speechless animals are also dying by eating the food along with the plastic. The way everyone handles waste is extremely concerning to me and I can’t keep living with this practice. I am more aware than anyone of the pain and consequences of plastic waste ending up in our rivers, oceans, and landfills. I certainly think I am the prime reason behind all the waste ending up in these places, but I am helpless.

Photo by India Today

When I introspect, I realise the fact that waste generated today is from a single-stream, i.e. most of the people put all kinds of waste in a single bin. As a result, it’s challenging for the municipal bodies and NGOs who are working hard to collect, sort and recycle waste. 

Why should someone else handle and sort your waste? Is it not your responsibility to collect them separately and hand them over? I am sure there is no denial of this question and should make everyone think about it. The day is near when the local municipality stops collecting waste, forcing everyone to handle their waste. It’s better to wake up and act now.

These days, I hear everyone talking about the circular economy, but enough attention needs to be given to segregation at source as it’s the key to all problems. One might counter me and say that segregation at source was a tough thing to do since the current ecosystem was not yet ready. I opine, if each one plays their part by sorting all the waste they generate and routing it through the right channel we will not see any trash on our roads, rivers, and households.

The informal recycling system is very vast, effective in our country and today you can find such shops everywhere. They do accept plastic items from all and it should be our responsibility to support the chain. Even the multi-layered plastics that are mostly used can be recycled. 

One notable work I would like to mention here is Project Mumbai. Their award-winning initiative, Plastic Recyclothon, collects the plastic waste at your doorstep once in a month. I am sure one can think of several other good ways to act with their waste responsibly. As a sincere request:

  • I ask everyone not to mix wet waste and dry waste and collect it separately.
  • Sort out the dry waste as per categories — bottles, packaging materials, multi-layer plastics, etc. and hand it over to the recycler directly in your town.
  • I also wish to see housing societies, schools, offices and individuals create composting sites in order to use the wet waste efficiently.
  • Follow the signs mentioned on dustbins when you put anything inside.

Humans have done extraordinary things, like landing a satellite on an asteroid to collect samples and get it back to Earth, finding medicine for incurable diseases, etc. I am sure this problem is very tiny. I am and will always be faithful to the humans who created me and I want everyone to do their part by acting responsibly. Zero Waste Living is simple, cost-effective and fun.

If there’s anything, I wish for in my life that would be no less than supporting the circular economy and urging citizens to generate less waste. Sadly, I don’t have any holidays and have to go back to my job of collecting waste. Thank you for sparing your time.

I want to end with: Rethink your choices. Refuse single-use. Reduce consumption. Reuse everything. Refurbish old stuff. Repair before you replace. Repurpose and reinvent with your creativity. And Recycle.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Be a Bridge for Change — BBC and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Author: Mr. Hareesh Kodi, Supply Chain MT, Marico Ltd | MBA SJMSOM, IIT Bombay | Bosch Ltd | NITK Surathkal

You must be to comment.

More from Be a Bridge for Change - BBC

Similar Posts

By Ganesh Khanderao

By vishal

By Ecochirp Foundation

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Read more about his campaign.

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.

Read more about her campaign.

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.

Read more about her campaign. 

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.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

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.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below