Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Garbage is my Responsibility part 2

The saga of events that has taken place recently, the nationwide agitation all over the country for our civic rights has somewhat helped us to think about the next step. Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand and should be given equal importance to both.

This is regarding the menace created by plastic products that are used by general public because they are easily available, cheap and seemingly very convenient for use. The negative side of this usage of plastic has been totally ignored till it reached a point of no return. Firstly, the used plastic has to find a proper place for disposal. Even though, the strict segregation laws are there, many do not follow these laws and very indiscreetly throw their waste mixed with wet waste, plastic products like carry bags, even hazardous and harmful materials like battery cells, broken glasses, used tube lights, used huggies, sanitary pads etc., the list is endless. Added to this, the eating houses all over the city also throw their waste such as thermocol packages, disposable kitchenware and what not. All these things find their way to the huge garbage bins kept on the roads unattended and overflowing all the time. Disposable waste from the eating houses also is very callously pushed into the drain chambers in a most irresponsible manner. These choked chambers create havoc during the rainy season by flooding the roads, even causing major floods as it happened in Mumbai a few years back.

In order to find a tangible solution to this existing reality, NGOs have appointed rag pickers to sort out this mess littered on the streets. Here again we find young children, many of them minors working with bare hands, there by getting exposed to all kinds of infections. Many of us, educated and civilized citizens proudly show off our knowledge of human rights, child labour etc sitting in the drawing rooms of our comfortable homes. It is a mockery of our education. If at all we have any conscience left within us, we cannot shut our minds to this miserable and pitiable situation.As responsible citizens it is not enough to find fault with the whole system and do nothing about it. Civic bodies are also currently showing some interest in this matter. A clipping from The Times Of India is given as an attachment below to read. This is a very encouraging step. The Corporation may please take some course of action to find support and help from the citizens and solve this problem within the earliest possible time frame.

The following suggestions may also be given a thought and if possible may be implemented. Our scientists are also taking keen interest in this and they may also be consulted. One name which appeared in the website recently is Dr Alka Zadgaunkar from Nagpur who has succeeded by some process to get petroleum from plastic. Secondly, a few recycling centers may be introduced in the cities and organize collection from different localities. The companies which supply these products like huggies, sanitary pads etc may please replace plastic with the bio-degradable material and this may be separately segregated. If all of us share these responsibilities, we can have an excellent system in place of which we will all be proud of.

Our intelligent younger generation may please try to keep pace with our progress of science and technology by also becoming aware of their civil, moral and social responsibilities. We have succeeded with our technology to reach the Moon. At the same time, ironically some of our unfortunate fellow beings are made to dive into dirty and choked manholes bare-bodied with no protective clothing and take out stinking dead rats, cats and such other stuffs. These people with their families live in very miserable and unhygienic conditions. Their children are not getting proper education and many of them often suffering from ailments caused by very unhygienic surroundings. We as responsible citizens cannot remain insensitive spectators to all such things happening around us. The only way we can help them is to be always aware our civic responsibilities like segregation of waste, say no to plastic, see that drain chambers are not used as garbage bins and last but not the least, if we come across any garbage littered on the streets draw immediate attention of our elected civic authorities to promptly address the issue.

I quote “Remember, the universe is the echo of our actions and thoughts". - Dalai Lama