Managing Waste in a Responsible and Scientific Manner

Swarupa Pandit

Assistant Professor Kalinga University Naya Raipur

“Sustainable improvement is the pathway to the destiny we need for all. It offers a framework to generate financial growth, reap social justice, work out environmental stewardship and make stronger governance”          

Ban Ki-moon

Adarsh Gram or Model Villages were based on the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of ideal villages in the country. The concept of Adarsh Gram was launched by the Central Government to get the MPs involved directly in the development of selected model villages. The MPs were asked to adopt a village of their choice from within their constituency and personally pay attention to its integrated development. The most essential ingredients of Adarsh Village was visualized as ensuring involvement of all sections of the community, bringing good governance to the villages, easing information flow to the villages, facilitating the smooth delivery of all government schemes and services; and strengthening the local government bodies to take up the initiative of transforming their villages towards the better. This is how Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana came into existence.

Gram Panchayat Mohali in the district of Durg, Chhattisgarh is one such village under the flagship program of ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. Mohali village of Durg has ranked fourth among the SAGY villages in the country and the village prides itself on the fact that Honorable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi mentioned Mohlai’s achievements during his radio address to the nation in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Sri Bharat Nishad, the Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat, Mohali motivate the people to not only keep developing their village but inspiring nearby villages also to walk the path of development. It is a unique example of standing united for developmental activities. It was the challenge to the Panchayat to change the mindset of individuals to adopt cleanliness, make toilets at home and stop open defecation.

The people of this village lived in dirt. There were piles of garbage everywhere, waste management was always a major challenge. The general practice was to just throw away the waste outside the boundaries of each one’s house. The entire village surroundings and pathways were dirty with waste and rubbish was thrown around and different illnesses were rampant in the village. All the pathways were filled with puddles of mud and were an ideal setting for mosquito breeding.

The Panchayat then took the initiative to put a proper waste management plan in place. The community members were constantly encouraged to collect garbage and dispose of it properly. The Sarpanch says, “to inculcate the habit of cleanliness, for the last one year, I sent my tractor to every household to collect trash from homes without any charges levied on them….”.

The Panchayat even gave a plastic dustbin to each house from its funds to instill in them the habit of storing trash for proper disposal. In the morning, the tractor collected the waste from each household. The waste is then segregated into biodegradable and non-degradable substances and disposed of in separate pits prepared in the village. The bio-degradable is then treated. Over the next couple of weeks, it becomes cured compost, which is then delivered to people for their fields and kitchen gardens. 

Today the village has become a role model for the entire district. The villagers understand the importance of keeping the streets and surroundings clean. The happy villagers say how people have understood its importance, and how diseases are like stories of yesterday. A beaming villager says, “Earlier, we used to dump waste anywhere and left it to pollute the environment. But now, it is a blessing that we don’t have to deal with smelly garbage piled up in the vicinity.”

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