By Madhup. Chandigarh, 16th Nov: Today around 50 students of ten prominent Schools of the city visited rag-pickers, scrap dealers, SSK’s (Waste Collection Centre’s in Sectors) & dumping ground to find solutions for problems of waste management in Chandigarh. The visit was organized by Yuvsatta, Sohanjana Eco-Club of GMSSS – 46 D, TERI, New Delhi & Tetrapak as part of a Project SEARCH in the city.
Taru Mehta of TERI shared that Project SEARCH is started to create awareness amongst school students, teachers and the school community at large, about waste and encouraging the habit of recycling, reducing and reusing.
“A clever person can solve a problem, but a wise person avoids one”, added Pramod Sharma, Coordinator of Yuvsatta. He further said that the total garbage accumulation in Chandigarh exceeds 400 tons, each day. The population has increased from 1.20 lakh in 1961 to over 11 lakh today. The garbage processing unit too has always remained in the centre of controversy. So, the way out is to involve generation next in finding viable solutions.
Devjyot & Sahil of Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh were alarmed by the kind of living conditions of rag-pickers and waste collectors working with bare hands and living in sub-human conditions
For Preetkanwal & Sohini of St. Kabir Public School the solution lies in reduction in waste generation by consuming less. Two simple words that synthesize the varied solutions to climate change and our diminishing natural resources.
The visit ended with an interactive session later at Govt. Model Sr. Sec. School, Sector 46 D, where Chander Mukhi Sharma, Councillor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh was the Chief Guest. He said that on a personal level, recycling is still preferable to throwing paper and other materials in the trash. But there are many actions we can take that are more environmentally sound, like don’t buy things that don’t enhance your life, creatively reuse items you no longer need. One can prepare a long list of many great ideas to reuse everyday items, Buy second hands and borrow from libraries instead of buying new, Choose products with less packaging., Filter (or simply drink) tap water instead of buying bottled or canned beverages. And on a community level, forming a Zero Waste Task Force or other community action group can encourage local officials to regulate out-of-control product waste.