Whatever we do we don’t seem to get rid of middle-men in our country. Middle-men for food grains and other produces are well known in India and have the power to change the peoples’ mandate for a government. High price, hoarding, poor quality stuff are their “modus operandi“. That has become part of life now but there is a different breed of middle-men fondly called consultants thriving in our poor country where we don’t use our education or common-sense. One such type is “waste management consultants”, whose livelihood depend on teaching the already educated ‘the importance of waste management or how to do it’. Big organizations, corporates and housing societies employ these people to find ways to manage their waste. All these places have educated people. Even if you ask a school kids today they too will tell that what is good for land or what is bad. Who taught our parents and grandparents to store solid waste for the monthly visit of the “Kabadiwala”. Then why this dependency on these middlemen for telling us what we all know?
Sometime back I had great respect for them. Considered them green warriors. Then I happened to meet one of the top lady waste management consultants in our city who has projects for some of the top educational institutes of country. Some of her projects are segregating and composting of wet waste. After dinner in her house when she was putting away dishes I asked her if she did composting. Her reply was a big no. I was shocked. She put all the waste in one bin which was a mixture of food ,wrappers, disposable plates all in one bin. When I asked she shrugged that their apartment don’t have separate waste collection. Though this answered my question of why do educated people need someone else to teach them over and over again.
Do we as educated people really need these consultants to tell us the difference between degradable and non-degradable stuff or simple composting? Can’t we find ourselves the way to dispose of solid waste in these days of internet and media? Solid waste collection centres or the “new age Kabadiwalas” are all over the news these days.
Who then needs waste management? The answer is people who don’t have time to think beyond the two meals of the day. The population living below the poverty line. Wish there was an organization who could tell them the importance of segregation. Plastic being their lifeline everything thing they use is of plastic. Be it roof over their head or carrying their meals in thin plastic bags which are banned.
There is a slum in the property adjacent to my apartment of which I am putting up pictures. They have a habit of burning their plastic waste in the vacant plot causing thick white smoke engulfing our kids play area and other apartment blocks including the slum as well.
Crossing my city’s one of the major slum area every day, I see thing less than 40 micron bags filled with waste on the roadsides with local cows feasting on them. Shouldn’t organizations teach them the importance of segregation? India has millions of people living below poverty line and their awakening will have greater impact.
They need to know that what they throw away may bring them some extra income. They can generate compost from wet waste and animal droppings and sell them instead of putting them in plastic bags on the roadside. Municipal corporations of the city cannot handle all these alone. Organizations need to come up not with cloud computing for garbage management but to work in slum areas.
I would request Greenmoksha’s readers to let me know if they come across any such organizations who teach green sense to slum dwellers. Till now I have not been able to find any such waste management organization.