Anantnag: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure — not just a fanciful idea but a maxim to save the environment for village headman Farooq Ahmad Ganaie who gives out gold coins in exchange for polythene to prevent household plastic waste being dumped into fields and water bodies. “If we do not pay attention to cleanliness, you won’t find any clean source of water of fertile land within the next 10 years,” Mr Ganaie, sarpanch of Sadiwara-A village in Hiller area here, told PTI.
Also Read: In A Message For Sustainability, PM Modi Wears Jacket Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles
While there is a lot of focus on cleanliness from the government and the administration, the citizens will also have to contribute their bit.
Mr Ganaie, who is also an advocate, started out last year by convincing the villagers to build garbage pits in their houses to ensure that solid waste does not get out.
However, polythene remained a cause of concern as it does not decompose even in garbage pits. That’s when I thought of the idea — bring polythene, take gold.
We now give a gold coin to those who bring us 20 quintals of polythene.
“Those who bring less than 20 quintals of polythene will also be suitably rewarded, maybe a silver coin,” he added.
Also Read: Climate Warrior: 23-year-old Recycles 10 Plastic Bags And 12 Plastic Bottles Into A Pair Of Sneakers
The youth of the area have formed a club which helps in implementing innovative ideas for the betterment of society.
“Our area has been completely transformed in the past one year. Earlier, there was polythene strewn on the roads but that’s not the case now,” said Mohsin Amin, a volunteer of the Youth Club.
Mr Ganaie’s novel idea may soon be replicated across villages in Anantnag.
“This model will be incentivised and implemented in all panchayats of the district so that our villages are garbage-free and polythene-free,” said Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD), Anantnag, Riyaz Ahmad Shah.
He said though the idea was conceived by the Sadiwara-A panchayat, the district administration has extended all support.
Mr Shah said the administration is working on solid waste management in the district. He said,
We have started door-to-door waste collection and provided community dustbins and household dustbins. The construction of drains, compost pits and soakage pits is being undertaken. We have constructed over 60,000 compost pits in the district.
Also Read: Best Out Of Waste: Indore Artist Makes Art Out Of Trash, Urges People To Reduce, Reuse And Recycle
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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 – the LGBTQ 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 current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) 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, fight malnutrition, 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 like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.