Waste Management: This Lone Ranger In Remote Uttar Pradesh Shows Goes Against All Odds To Get 300 Households To Segregate Waste
Highlights
  • Navyakriti Foundation composts 225 kilos of wet waste daily
  • Nagendra Agnihotri aims at 100% waste segregation in Allahganj
  • The project is sustaining itself due to high community participation

 “Of late, India has witnessed thousands of cleanliness drives, from political leaders coming out onto the streets and sweeping roads to municipal bodies distributing dustbins, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan indeed has gained a momentum. But this is only half baked action, community participation will complete the other half,” says 28-year old Nagendra Agnihotri, founder of Navyakriti Foundation which is striving hard to make Uttar Pradesh’s Allahganj, a semi-urban town 100 per cent clean and healthy.  A law graduate, Nagendra travelled across India during his volunteering days and what struck him was the alarming levels of waste pile up in India.

Hence he decided to make the solution to this problem, his mission. Giving up a secured well-paying job, backed by a supportive family, he initiated a waste management in his own semi-urban town. Nagendra’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) project ‘KADAM: Cleanliness Towards Prosperity’ started in 2016

Coming from a family of teachers, Nagendra believed in practising before preaching.  He began by trying out all the waste management solutions like recycling, reusing, and segregation himself for the first 6 months, I wanted to make sure that I followed what I preached. Once I was through with the sanitation practices, I implemented it in my immediate neighbourhood and realised that it is only community participation that can bring a change in Allahganj.

Also Read: 13 Uttar Pradesh Villages Are Building Izzat Ghars Aka Toilets With Their Own Money As A ‘Ramzan Deed’

Here’s A The 3-Step Journey That Nagendra, The Swachh Warrior Followed –

       Step #1: Battling With Mindsets

From being ridiculed for giving up on a stable career option and choosing garbage collection, Nagendra also had to tackle the residents’ negative attitude towards caste and waste workers.  “My intention was to create identity and provide employment to the underprivileged community. People, including my close ones took time to accept this move,” says Nagendra.

Waste Management: This Lone Ranger In Remote Uttar Pradesh Shows Goes Against All Odds To Get 300 Households To Segregate Waste
The waste management foundation even conducts cleanliness awareness campaigns in their village

Bringing about a behavourial change towards segregation of waste in households of Allahganj was the next immediate step. Nagendra along with his team of five people conducted several ‘Prabhat Pheris’ or awareness campaigns and went from door-to-door requesting people to separate dry and wet waste. He also organised educative campaigns on health and sanitation exclusively for women, “When we explained how a clean environment can save them from falling ill, they were ready to adopt the practice of segregation,” says Nagendra.

To ease the process of segregation, he even distributed dustbins in many households, “After 3-4 years of endless convincing, people have now started to realise the importance of proper waste disposal,” he adds.

Waste Management: This Lone Ranger In Remote Uttar Pradesh Shows Goes Against All Odds To Get 300 Households To Segregate Waste
The Navyakriti foundation distributed dustbins to help people segregate waste

       Step #2: Door-to-Door Collection: Filling The Gap

In a semi-urban town like Allahganj, only 50-60 per cent of the area is covered by the municipal workers and the garbage collected is dumped wherever they find an open dumping spot, says Nagendra. To overcome this issue, he approached the civic body and requested them to work in collaboration but that didn’t work out. So he gathered his team and decided to fill in the gap.

Every morning, ‘Prakriti Mitra’ (Friend of Environment) aka Mukesh, a waste picker takes the custom made vehicle and goes to 300 households and collects segregated waste. And households who do not segregate waste, he teaches them and makes them do it on the spot, “Being a semi-urban town, there is hardly any dry waste that is generated daily so separating garbage shouldn’t be difficult task. Hence some residents don’t mind spending a few minutes to segregate the waste,” says Nagendra. In the evening, Mukesh covers vegetable mandis, picks up the garbage and sends it for composting.

Waste Management: This Lone Ranger In Remote Uttar Pradesh Shows Goes Against All Odds To Get 300 Households To Segregate Waste
Mukesh, a waste picker goes to 300 households of Allahganj and collects segregated waste daily

In the morning collection drive, Mukesh can’t afford to be late as people in Allahganj do not touch garbage bins after having bath and Nagendra doesn’t feel the need to change this traditional practice of people and hence the team is always on time.

There is always a financial crunch that the NGO faces. Hence, he made appeals to the 300 households to pay a user fee, “Charging a user fee like civic body is not an option for us. Hence, we have asked people to decide the fee and pay whatever they deem necessary,” says Nagendra. From Rs 5 to Rs 100, people give out the user fee at the end of the month.

        Step #3: The Journey To Unburden the Dumping Yards

Waste Management: This Lone Ranger In Remote Uttar Pradesh Shows Goes Against All Odds To Get 300 Households To Segregate Waste
Nagendra Agnihotri rented a plot where he has installed a composting unit and a dry waste collecting centre

After implementing the door-to-door collection system, Nagendra’s main concern was to treat the waste collected from 300 households. With his own money he rented two plots in his village and installed a dry waste collecting centre and a composting pit.

Of the total waste generated daily, 3-4 kilos is the dry waste which gets recycled and around 225 kilos is wet waste which goes into composting. To increase the volume of dry waste he has collaborated with the local raddiwaala and kabadiwaalas and purchases the dry garbage at a cheap rate. Once the dry garbage is recycled he sells it off to the district vendors.

The wet waste goes through composting and once the manure is ready, he sells it to the farmers residing in nearby areas, “initially the farmers didn’t understand the concept of organic manure as they were used to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. After repeatedly making visits and making them aware, they finally started to purchase the manure,” says Nagendra. He charges a nominal Rs 20 per kilo for the manure.

Waste Management: This Lone Ranger In Remote Uttar Pradesh Shows Goes Against All Odds To Get 300 Households To Segregate Waste
Waste collected from the vegetable mandis go into composting

Nagendra believes that this is just the beginning. He plans to expand his model to other nearby towns and villages. He is currently going from village to village and explaining his SWM model to village authorities. He is confident about bringing an attitudinal change in people but lack of manpower, poor financial situation and lack of infrastructure is increasingly becoming a problem for Nagendra. But this hasn’t discouraged him to expand his model and feels that it is challenges like these which help him and his team to do more in the future.

Waste Management: This Lone Ranger In Remote Uttar Pradesh Shows Goes Against All Odds To Get 300 Households To Segregate Waste

The project of protecting the environment must go on, Nagendra signs off.

Also Read: Can This Smart Bin Made By The 13-year-old School Children Solve India’s Growing Garbage Issues?

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27 Comments

  1. Madhusudan Agnihotri

    Thanks to Sh Nagendra Agnihotri and his dedicated team and Navyakriti Foundation for incredible work in small town Allahaganj Shahajanpur UP with out any help of Government and local Administration.Please published in Hindi also. Thanks to NDTV for covering great work and appreciate

  2. For those who want to contribute to this initiative can contribute ar provided link :- ket.to/supportkadam

  3. एक ऐसा व्यक्ति उच्च शिक्षा को प्राप्त करने के बाद सबकुछ छोड़ कर अपने गृह नगर को प्रेरणादायक बनाने में लगा है | जब भी मैं बड़े भाई से व्यक्तिगत चर्चा के दौरान उनके संघर्ष के बारे में सुनता हूँ और देखता हूँ तोह मैं खुद हतप्रभ रह जाता हूँ | पहले 2013 में विधुत अव्यवस्था के विरोध् में भूख हड़ताल और आज जहाँ हमारा देश कचरे की समस्या के बारे में बात कर रहा है वही दूसरी तरफ मेरा भाई उसका प्रबंधन करने में जूटा हुआ है |

    यह कार्य हमारे समाज एवं आने पीडी को एक प्रेरणा प्रदान करेगा | हालाँकि अभी बहुत कुछ होना बाकी है यह तो बस शुरुवात है |
    मुझे गर्व है भाई पर क्यूंकि यह व्यक्ति हम सब का गौरव है | हम साथ है

  4. For those who want to contribute to this initiative can contribute at provided link :- ket.to/supportkadam

  5. I appreciate Mahendra Agnihotri for doing a great job in such a small town. A step towards waste management and a step towards a project that protect our environment.

    1. Nagendra Agnihotri

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Follow us on :- https://www.facebook.com/Ngonavyakriti/

      if you want to contribute something you can at given link
      ket.to/supportkadam

      Thanks
      Nagendra Agnihotri

  6. NAGENDRA AGNIHOTRI

  7. Nice work for healthy environment with out any govt support
    Thaks to shri nagendra aghinotri navyakriti foundation for social cause

  8. Ravi Prakash Mishra l

    I am always support to you because your work is really great.everybody talks to environment pollution but very few people do something. You are such a special person and without any interest do your work honestly with cute smiles. I am always with NAGENDRA AGNIHOTRI.

  9. congratulations…
    Good job bhai…

  10. भाई नागेन्द़ आप जो कार्य कर रहे है वह सराहनीय है हम पर्यावरण के प़ति चिन्ता करते है पर करते कुछ नही। एक छोटे से कस्बे और गांव मे कचरा प़बन्धन के प़ति लोगों को जागरुक करना तथा उन्हे इस कार्य मे जोडना अच्छा कदम है। पर्यावरण के लिये हम सभी को मिल कर ऐसे कदम उठाने होंगे।। आपका कार्य काबिले तारिफ है। आप अपने उद्देश्यों मे सफल हो।। इस शुभकामना सहित।।

  11. Aneet Trivedi

    Nice Work Nagendra Agnihotri. I appreciate you and your all team members of Navyakriti Foundation for this Great Job due to necessity for our Healthy Environment.

  12. You indeed are doing a great job Bhaiya !
    For many many say , preach for the importance of cleanliness , only a few like you take steps forward and initiate much significant programme as Navyakirit .
    You might have faced criticism initially as all great deeds go through. But I am sure you would earn respect in your eyes and the heart of millions .
    #Respect #love #Isupport

  13. Very nice and good attempt for better society

  14. बहुत ही उपयोगी एवं महत्त्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभा रही है यह संस्था ।

  15. Radha Krishnan Upadhyay

    नागेन्द्र जी मैं आपके इस उत्कृष्ट कृत्य का तहें दिल से सराहना करता हूँ। आप अधिकार से अधिक कर्तव्य को प्राथमिकता देते हैं, यह आप के व्यक्तित्व को अद्वितीय बनाती है।

  16. Shashi Shanker Agnihotri

    नागेन्द़ आप का कार्य इस समाज के लिये प़ेरणा का कार्य करेगा लोग कचरा फैलाने से पहले उसे समायोजित करने के लिये सोचना शुरू करेंगे जिससे हमारा देश स्वच्छ होगा । यह सराहनीय कदम है । आप ने अपना बहुमूल्य समय इस कार्य के लिये दिया ऐसा बिरले व्यक्ति ही करते है। पर्यावरण के पंति आपका नजरिया अच्छा है। ये भविष्य की ओर बढाया गया बडा कदम है।।

  17. Real Good Efforts Yours Model Is A Case Study For IIM and Management Institutes
    All The Best and Good Luck Keep It Up

  18. All The Best Nice Eggorts

  19. Nice Efforts Nagendra Agnihotri Ji , Its Perfect Case Study For IIM and Management Institutes all The Best And Good Luck

  20. Nice Efforts Nagendra Agnihotri Ji , Its Perfect Case Study For IIM and Management Institutes all The Best And Good Luck

  21. Good Case Study For IIM and Mgt Institutes and best mode for earning Keep It Up All The Best

  22. Very nice and good attempt for our society …Narendra Bhai

  23. Uday Pratap singh

    I am always support to you,very good job for healthy environment and good attempt for our society & new generation.Your work is revolutionize change in our society and country.

  24. देर से ही लेकिन आज मैं लिख रहा हूँ

    अनहोनी को होनी कर दे वह कोई और नहीं मेरा छोटा भाई Nagendra Agnihotri
    आज मुझे वह पल याद आ रहा है जब तुम पहली बार 2015 में इस अभियान के बारे में मुझसे बात रहे थे तो मुझे डर लग रहा था , असंभव सा लग रहा था ,मेरा दिल कह रहा था कि मना कर दूँ कि यह नहीं हो पायेगा लेकिन मैं उसे बचपन से जानता था कि वह धुन का बहुत पक्का है इसलिए तुम मानोगे नहीं इसलिए मैंने तुम्हे मना नहीं किया | जैसे जैसे कार्य बढता गया 1 से 2, 2 से 4 घर और आज 300 घरो से कचरा संग्रहण हो रहा है, कार्य की प्रगति देखकर एक मेरे अन्दर भी तुम पे विश्वास के साथ फक्र भी बढता गया |
    अब मुझे आशा ही नहीं एक विश्वास है कि तुम हमारे नगर के लिए बहुत बड़ा कार्य करोगे |
    आज मैं तुम्हे 13 जनवरी 2015 की एक सर्द रात में तुम मुझे इसी प्लान के बारे में पागलो कि तरह बताते रहे ..बताते रहे ..एक पल में मैं बोर सा गया पर दुसरे पल मुझे लगा कि यह कुछ ऐसा करेगा जो अकल्पनीय होगा |
    15 जनवरी 2015 को मैंने एक प्रेरणादायक कहानी साँझा की थी शायद तुम्हे याद ना हो या याद हो फिर भी बताना चाहता हूँ “एक मेडक पेड़ पर चढ़ रहा था लोग चिल्ला रहे थे कि तुम पेड़ पर नहीं चढ़ पाओगे लेकिन वह चिल्लाते हुए भीड़ को देखता और फिर पेड़ पर चड़ने कि कोसिस करता और वह आखिरकार मेडक पेड़ पर चढ़ हो गया ” इस कहानी का आशय यह है यह कि जो भीड़ उसे चड़ने के लिए उसे मना कर रही थी वह उस भीड़ का चिल्लाना उसे उत्साहित कर रही हो इसी उत्साह के साथ वह अपने उद्देश्य को पाने में सफल हुआ लेकिन भीड़ यह नहीं जानती थी कि मेडक को कानो से सुनाई नहीं देता था | ठीक यही गुड तुम्हारे अन्दर है कि तुम लोगो कि बात न सुनकर अपने कार्य को करने में लगे रहते हो | तुम चाहते तो बड़े शहर में जाकर एक अच्छी नौकरी कर सकते थे लकिन तुम जो अपने नगर के लिए जो प्रयास कर रहे हो वह प्रसंसनीय अतुलनीय है |
    मैं तुम्हारी पोस्ट पर जानबूझ कर कुछ नहीं लिखता क्यूंकि मैं देखना चाहता हूँ कि लोग तुम्हे कितना प्यार करते है ..आज यह पड़कर बहुत खुश होगे
    नागेन्द्र मुझे तुम पे बहुत गर्व है ..मेरा आशिर्वाद सदैव तुम्हारे साथ है

  25. शिवम् शुक्ला

    बड़े भाई नागेन्द्र अग्निहोत्री द्वारा एक छोटे से कस्बे में एक बड़ा सराहनीय कार्य । जिला प्रशाशन तथा शासन द्वारा बिना किसी सहयोग के बाद भी आपके द्वारा एक सफल कार्यक्रम का आयोजन । आपसे प्रेरणा लेकर जिले के कई गाँव तथा कस्बे में आपके नक्शेकदम पर चलने की कोशिश की जा रही है । आप इस समय समस्त जिले के रोल मॉडल बने हुए है। आपके कार्य के लिए शुभकामनाये ।

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