Friday 12 December 2014

Swachh India beyond the photo Opp

Hygiene and Sanitation has always played an important role in our lives . In the medical profession it can make the difference between life and death. In our homes  washing hands helps us get rid of disease causing  germs and bacteria. The journey to good health starts with that one drop of sanitizer  or that antiseptic  soap . Good hygiene and Sanitation  are the lampposts that show  us the path to good health. Every day we encounter thousands of germs, bacteria with disease causing organisms

About a month back I  attended  a Swachh India drive near my office. It was a drive started with great fervour. All the civic authority workers with their crisp uniforms were present in full attendance  .Sweeping the roads in full gusto, as their senior  officers  were present to witness and supervise. Some of us residents including me were also witness to this event after all we were expecting our cities and the entire country to be clean thereafter.
Returning back home I  scrubbed my hands clean properly with a anti bacterial disinfectant soap and my thoughts drifted to how  Dr  Ignaz Semmelweis was  one of the first persons who advocated the washing of hands when he observed a connection between not washing hands and perpetual diseases. He observed that the cases of perpetual fever and deaths of mothers in obstetrical clinics was greatly reduced if doctors  and hospital staff started washing hands . However disease causing germs are presentlyeverywhere that we go, even in our homes germs are raging a battle against us humans and the only way to beat them and win this war is to practice proper hygiene and sanitation.
Even the garbage that we throw travels a large distance before it is sorted and disposed off. In this journey it still provides a fertile ground for organisms to grow.
It is often sorted by workers who do not wear any protective gear. I doubt if they are even provided with any disinfectants, soaps etc to clean themselves after they have finished their job or take a break for lunch or tea.
It is important to reduce the time to handle the garbage and what can we do with all the organic waste that is produced every day . It stinks and rots on its way to disposal.
Can we do anything to break this vicious cycle?
I keep all my organic and non organic waste separate so that the sorting time is reduced.
But can the organic waste be disposed off safely closer to the site of creation i.e our homes rather then transporting it. As this process consumes time, manpower and transportation cost. To find out the answer I did a small experiment.
Instead of throwing all those vegetable peels,tea leaves and other organic waste I colleted it in a bag and filled them in a pot and topped the pot with mud.  In one of the pots I have even planted  a plant that I water every day. In a few days time all that waste gets turned into compost that too  without any bad odour or any cost to me,,my city or country.
When I have excess compost either I can useit to nourish my plants or scatter in the neighbouring  park. All this can be done without any cost to me ,my city or my country. I did not require any technical know how  for this either.
And by growing that plant or  using it in our neighbouring park we are only helping plants grow organically that would play their part in making the air and eventually making India more Swatch with cleaner air.
Though there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed We will have to ensure that domestic garbage is packed  separately inorganic and organic . It would be even better if the recycle able items are not thrown as trash but straight away  sent to recycling units. The local garbage collectors and the kabariwala can be roped in as part of the drive. This will save the nation huge costs incurred in garbage disposal .There is so much recyclable material that can be used again and it can bring down the raw material costs and make us globally more competitive. What if all the plastic that we throw away could be recycled into waste bins that line the cities of every city and village of the country. When people begin to use them and throw the garbage as presorted recycleable and organic only then will India become truly Swatchh
Till that happens we have to face and deal with the reality of today i.e

Cows feeding on waste. 

Garbage & Leaves being burn as there is no proper disposal 

Pet Poop can be found on the roads.
Rain water drains getting clogged with litter

Heaps of garbage not properly disposed.

All images belong to me. They  have been taken by me in various parts of delhi 

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