Image by anncapictures from Pixabay 

Although the blow of Corona virus pushed most of us behind closed doors, few stayed an exception to it. Be it doctors serving patients, army and police officials guarding us 24/7 and our cleanliness workers maintaining a hygienic environment. All of them have different ways of fighting this war but they all are living reflections of Bhagvad Geeta's prime lessons that says being sincere to your work is the best way to serve the society, in that way indirectly you have served God.

Waste management is a whole system in itself. This includes the collection of waste from door to door, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with monitoring and regulation of the waste management process. The clean roads, public places are a result of tireless work done by sweepers, transport workers and each person involved in effective management of waste. It’s an underrated service which deserves a lot more dignity.

With the rise of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan since 2014 in the background of epidemic occurrences due to lack of sanitation, our nation has undergone a dynamic change. But increase in population which mandates for more resource utilization and ultimately more waste production, maintaining adequate sanitation is still a challenge. Wet and dry waste segregation is one of the rational way to make the whole process smooth yet many overlook the power of this simple process. Probably the origin of this un-coordination from the end person side starts from a mindset that considers cleanliness as their right but not a responsibility.

The closeness of these workers with variety of waste is a big concern because they are vulnerable to many infective micro organisms that can cause serious health hazards. Masks, PPE kits disposed daily were a massive addition to already piling up waste, also posing a great risk of contamination. But even after all odds, they stood firm and kept on making their contribution for the greater good. While the shadow of Corona had trapped us bad, these heroes stood as a ray of light, making India shine with pride.

There’s not just a single name to be appreciated that will provide justice to what they do for us. Yet I will like to name a few that in my opinion were frontline heroes representing the waste management community's priceless deeds. First up is a honourable mention - Dr Binish Desai, the recycle man of India who believed that with the right perception waste can be viewed as an asset, too. He made a brick out of used PPE kits and masks which is 4 times more stronger than the usual silica bricks. Sound proofing panel from craft waste and sanitary pads from cloth waste are few other of his amazing contributions. He might be the only human on earth to have patents on waste. This young dynamic person is the purest example of how challenges give birth to innovations.

Image by netkids from Pixabay 

Mahadev Gomare ji who taught the sanjeevani rasa and all other organic farmers that use the biodegradable waste as a manure are wondrous people helping the ecosystem flourish by adapting best out of waste in it’s true sense. These might not be the sanitation workers but they are significant examples about how one can manage it to it’s best at an individual level with appropriate will power.

Saving lives is indeed a task of huge responsibilities and in this pandemic we lost a multitude of people. Managing those bodies is an equally arduous task. Jitender Singh made sure that the departure is done right. His NGO has performed last rites of more than 200 people in last few months. During this process, Jitender Singh and his family too contracted the virus, but that never stopped him. And I am sure there are many more who are not in the limelight because their everlasting fiery spirit makes eminent impact on every last individual’s life.

When our beloved, Honourable Prime Minister Modi ji asked us to clap for the eminent COVID warriors we are blessed with, I didn’t expect to see an active response from people. But we all did, creating a historical moment that the world will remember. And I feel this was a sign of a sensible society but gratitude shouldn’t be confined to a day or an act. It is a quality to possess, a way to express always towards all energies that are shaping this globe into a better place. Surrounded by pungent smell, cleansing sewages, disposing biodegradable waste, separating non biodegradable waste, managing sanitary napkins on a daily basis is a hard path to traverse, it needs tremendous fortitude.

There is a law of thermodynamics which says the universe is heading towards dis-order. In more scientific terms – as energy transfers from one form to another, it’s more and more wasted. This stays true for waste generated on each day as well. It will exist till the end of human kind and maybe even beyond. There is a high need to develop our skills towards managing it. It can either be an asset or just a means to more dis-order in the ecosystem.

The World Bank provided us with 1.5 billion dollars loan and 25 million dollars in technical assistance in 2016 for the Swachh Bharat Mission, this shows us the vision of our government to improve the conditions in our country. Along with it this is a concern that 1000s of crores are needed to be spent on waste management making it a peculiar issue. They say India’s population brings all these kinds of side effects like lack of efficacy in waste management. But if that were true then Indore wouldn’t have been the cleanest city of India. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya wouldn’t have been the cleanest village of Asia. National sanitation coverage wouldn’t risee to 65% in 2017 from 38% in 2014.

It all comes back to our will power of being the change than asking for the change. It’s a thin line between what we want and what we do. And India is represented by it’s fragments which are it’s people. But making such huge number of people head to a single direction is again a hefty job so the beginning of a cleaner and cleanest India that we desire can start from more strict laws because free things are under valued. School students should be encouraged to maintain household and school cleanliness. We need to imbibe those qualities deep within, only then our country can make it’s transition to a developed one speed up.

I salute all those unsung heroes for their remarkable work. You are definitely an inspiration.

For negative energies do spread fast but positive impacts last long..!!

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