Did you know that 188,500 tons of garbage is produced every day in India?
The general public, children, tourists, businesses, municipalities, panchayats and even animals – everyone is affected by the filth that litters our streets and pollutes our waterways. Determined to change the ways of garbage disposal by the local citizens, Earth5R team member Ayesha Mehrotra conducted a waste management awareness at Pondicherry with local citizens on 10th October 2015.
Her interaction lasted for a duration of 2 hours where she went up to people on streets as well as shops to understand the waste disposal system of the area. She first spoke to the local residents about the issue of garbage and maintenance of public hygiene. Her interaction with these people made her conclude that serious initiative needs to be taken by citizens, as the surroundings are dirty despite municipality rules and regulations.
It is the mindset of people that needs to change. Pondicherry being a Union Territory, it was observed to be far more organized in terms of garbage collection and disposal as compared to metropolitan cities like Bangalore, where garbage collection is poorly managed and is carried out just once in 4 days.
It is reported that 80% of the population suffers from pollution-induced diseases and fatalities.
Despite several attempts by the Swacch Bharat initiative of the local corporators, Pondicherry is still very unclean due to littering in public spaces. The shopkeepers spoke to Ayesha about how they sweep their bakeries and goods stores 4-5 times a day at the least, as it is a rule passed by the municipality of the area. Ayesha suggested the shopkeepers and local vendors to increase the number of garbage bins in and around their shops as well put up signboards for no littering.
She also asked them to speak to customers and encourage them to dispose of waste wisely. Ayesha promoted the awareness of recycled paper bags instead of plastic carry bags. Determined to write a to the authorities of Pondicherry, to enforce strict rules and regulations on the issues of maintenance of public property, she is also motivated to speak to them for a plan of action in the near future.
– Reported by Ayesha Mehrotra. Picture credits Aditya Mehrotra. Edited by Vandita Morarka