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Monday, August 29, 2011

“We understand our responsibility…”

Mr Vinayak (4th from left) and Mrs. Meghna (3rd from Right) with the residents .

How many of us actually understand our responsibility towards society and environment? How many of us actually follow the rules and regulations that would make our living easy? How many of us actually do something which is right, but difficult to follow? How many of us actually leave the comfort zone and take the initiative that is for the goodness of human beings?
There is one group of people, who belong to a building which is in a society, who are thinking about the environment. They live in a society, which is not yet formed, but that is not affecting them from carrying out their responsibility towards Nature. They are carrying out simple activity, which every individual are aware of and every school going children are taught. But their small act is very helpful towards nature. They are simply carrying out what we call as ‘Garbage Recycle’.

Sarita Vaibha, a society which was formed in 2003, is yet to be recognized as a Co-Operative society, is located on Singhgad Road. In the proposed plan, the society is having 12 buildings, but the builder was stopped after 9 buildings as PMC didn’t allowed building more. This makes this society ‘yet-to-be-formed’ and don’t come under Co-Operative Society Act. Due to this, this doesn’t come under any Law. To avoid further problems, each building formed a management to look after all the 28 flats in respective building and maintain it.
Vinayak Chatre, a software company owner, who lives in Building number A1 is secretary for that building. He says, “The builder and Municipal Corporation are having legal issues due to which the proposed plan is not yet complete. We decided that at least, we should have committee to safeguard the building and look after all the problems of the flats and resident residing here in each building. With this intention, we have formed an individual committee in each building”. Builder has provided them with the ‘Garbage Recycle Pit’, but this was not in use for many years.
This building, which has 28 flats, thought of using this pits and recycle the garbage. The initiative was taken by two ladies, which was then followed by other residents. Meghna Chatre, a Senior Research Officer in CWDRS and Aarti Tadwalkar, a housewife, thought of starting this. “We are ladies and if we won’t care about garbage then who will? It is our responsibility to take care of these small things”, says Meghna. Ladies are those who normally hand over the garbage to the garbage collector. They are the one who looks after it. “We are being said and taught and we all know that we need to segregate dry and wet garbage but we somehow don’t do that. While collecting it, we just need to pay little attention and that can help is in various ways”, says Aarti.
They were the first to start and think about the concept of using those pits that were there for their building. “We went and met different people who can guide us for this activity. We collected data who were doing this and took the initiative to go and visit them and learn from them about the procedure”, adds Meghna. While taking out information and visiting different people, they came across Shrishti Eco- Research Institute (SERI). They happen to meet Dr. Sandeep Joshi, the Environment Technologist, who guided them on this ‘Garbage Recycle’. “Mr. Joshi helped us every possible way he could. He guided us on how to work on this and what all things needs to be keep in mind while carrying out the activity”, says Meghna.
The procedure is very simple, as they explain. “We have a person who collects the garbage from every flat. He makes sure that the residents are segregating the garbage into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ while handling him the waste matter. Then, he give away the wet to the municipal corporation garbage collecting wan and keeps dry one into the pits that are made”, says she. Initially, it was problem for the collector as residents were not having habit of segregating the garbage but then he used to remind them about it. It went for almost a week but by then residents had a habit of it and this made the job easier.
They have completed their one year this 15th August. “We are been doing this since a year and it went well. After a year we will be opening this pits and will be taking out what we call as khaad. This is really nutritious for the plants and they are very much natural so they won’t cause any harm to the plants”, says Meghna. On being asked about how they are feeling about this, Aarti says, “We are feeling very good. We have done something right and we all are feeling proud that we have contributed to the nature in some way”.
Starting this a year back was not so easy. Recollecting the experience, Vinayak Chatre, the secretary of A1 building says, “Initially, when we came with this concept, luckily, people didn’t oppose it. They accepted this concept but while executing this, we did face a little trouble. As said before, people are not in a habit of segregating the wastage; we need to pay attention to that”.  The man who was collecting it was instructed to note down who are following this and who are not. During meetings, they all were remind about the activity and were checked. “We tried to follow this religiously, which was important and which is the only reason we happen to complete one year. Without this, it wouldn’t have been possible”, says Vinayak. 

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