While peeing and defecating in public doesn’t seem to bother our citizens, talking about waste and waste management in particular is ‘unseemly’. Bidding goodbye to propriety and seemliness, our Prime Minister brought this topic right out into the open in his first ever Independence Day Speech as PM. Since then, Mr. Narendra Modi’s call for cleanliness from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort has inspired several ordinary citizens to clean things up.
Nagendra Agnihotri is one such person who is trying to make his semi-rural town completely waste free.
“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.
Waste management is a humongous problem in every country. And despite our historical and cultural bias towards re-cycling, it has become a monumental problem in India too. No amount of rag pickers and conservation workers can help unless we, the ordinary citizens start managing our waste at home.
It is important to segregate waste and dispose it off properly. This is time consuming because apart from physically segregating waste, it involves re-shaping people’s thinking.
We need more citizens like Nagendra to help make this world a better place don’t we?
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