New Delhi: The Dettol Banega Ka Swasth India meets people and communities who have been working towards the conservation of the environment and have decided to do their bit with the motto “Less is More” to reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainable living and practices. One such community is in Delhi’s Sarvapriya Vihar, which has been recognised for its community action on waste management and composting.
The residents of Sarvapriya Vihar have created a grassroots organisation, ‘Green Team.
Fabian Panthaki, a resident of Sarvapriya Vihar for 12 years, is the co-founder of the ‘Green Team’ and an executive committee member of the Sarvapriya Vihar Resident Welfare Association (RWA). He co-founded the team in 2018 along with a few other volunteers from the colony.
We wanted to do more for the colony and make it an example for other societies, Mr. Panthaki said.
The workers collect waste every day, segregate wet and dry waste and other garbage – plastics, papers, and peels.
The Sarvapriya Vihar colony has achieved 100 per cent waste segregation at source and 100 per cent composting on-site over the last five years. As a model green colony, it now guides and assists other community composting projects in South Delhi. Their efforts won them the Community Building category at the Best Housing Society Awards, organised by media organsation, The Better India.
Talking about his work with the Green Team, 45-year-old Om Prakash, said,
The benefit that we get is that the wet waste is segregated and the dry waste is taken and sold to the local scrap dealer. We end up earning money again from the dry waste.
The Green Team has a wide array of members – the experience of the senior citizens and the enthusiasm of young working professionals coming together for advocacy and door-to-door follow-ups.
One of the oldest team members spoke about his experience with the Green Team.
“I am 80-years-old, and one of the first things we did as a team was to go from door-to-door to ask people to segregate plastic from waste.
Mr. Panthaki said,
There are several members in the colony with different types of dietary choices – some people eat leafy vegetables; some eat only processed food. So, after a year of experimenting, we got our system of composting right – how often we need to churn it, what mixture goes in it, and so forth.
The team created a hybrid pit model, which is about one foot and a half underground. The cart in which they collect the waste matches the height of the pit, so it becomes easy to dispose of the waste, and here they start the process of segregation and turning wet waste into fertiliser.
Sarvapriya Vihar has also been recognised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi as the ‘Sahbhagita Colony’ (a friend of other colonies).
The process of turning 250 kilos of daily wet waste into manure that nourishes the soil has ended up forging new bonds, raising a community of doers who have together changed the ecosystem of their homes, their colony, and, in their own small way, the planet.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.