Environment Conservation & Waste Management
Environment Conservation Approaches
• Wildlife protection
• Environment awareness
• Protection of endangered species
• Changing planet
• Climate change
• Community structures
• Paryvaraan Mitra
• Environment and tree friendly approach
• Animal welfare
• Environmental sustainability
• River water conservation
• World environment day
Waste Management Approaches
• Electronic waste
• Computer equipments waste
• Biomedical waste
• Household waste
• Collection and disposal
• Plastic material
Environment has no limits. It is whole, continuous and indivisible. Air, water, soil, rocks, plants; animals and humans are all part of environment. Environment also includes our neighbourhood, our village/town/city, our culture and society. Environment thus refers to both natural and human-made conditions. Our health, and the well being of the current and future generations is inextricably linked to the quality of our air, water, soils and biological resources. These resources are inseparable from our culture and inspire art and literature. Today many of these resources are overused, overexploited and seriously damaged due to our actions, and our eagerness to maintain our lifestyles. Every choice that we make has an impact on resources. Positive environmental action begins with a better understanding of the indivisible nature of the environment and its resources, and the complex inter-linkages and interrelationships and the importance of conservation, protection, and regeneration. Microsoft Create to Inspire School Programme: Lucknow & Kanpur. During the initiative with Microsoft and Toxics Link, Ganga has implemented Create to Inspire School Programme in 150 schools of Lucknow and Kanpur. The programme has been a capacity and leadership development initiative for schools on sustainable lifestyles and environment. The programme build the capacity of teachers and provided them a framework to engage with students on the themes of Energy, E-waste, Transportation, Water and Bio-diversity. The framework helped in bringing a change in the understanding of topics related to the environment and aids the creation of environmental campaigns by students on these topics. Via these campaigns, students enrolled and inspired their peers, parents, relatives, and communities to evaluate and consider the environmental impacts from existing lifestyles and taking steps which are in-line with sustainable living. The programme incorporated four phases where in first phase teachers were oriented through induction workshops where they developed a common understanding of what to do in the schools. During the second and third phases of followup students reflected teachers initiatives taken with them and the activities that children had undertaken during the project period. Children implemented the environmental conservation based activities in their schools, homes and their surroundings related to the 14 identified themes. Majority of the schools did the best expected from them and out of the 100 schools of Lucknow, Sindhi Girls Inter College, Alambagh was awarded as best environmentally sustainable school whereas out of the 50 schools of Kanur, Shining Angels Educational Centre, were recognised as the best performing schools from the city. Schools, Teachers and students were recognized with the awards according to their category and works which highly appreciated and motivated them all at the end.
Bio Medical waste is emerging as a critical waste issue particularly in smaller towns and cities which lurks far behind, owing to lack of awareness, management of Medical Waste has been a major issue, ignored for a long time in the cities and districts of Uttar Pradesh. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (Bio Medical Waste Status 2012), Uttar Pradesh generates 22995.65 kg/day, while there are only 20 Health Care Facilities (HCF) which have their own treatment and disposal facilities. Thus most of the medical waste generated goes unaccounted and is dumped illegally without and adequate treatment. Mixing of the infectious and hazardous waste with the general municipal waste is a common practice. The health care facilities, hospitals and nursing homes conveniently dump and strew the infectious as well as toxic wastes within or outside the premises. The situation is grimmer in rural areas where lack of awareness and non compliance to the rules has compounded the problem. Waste treatment and disposal infrastructure in the hospitals is inadequate and inefficient. While most of the hospitals openly burn the bandages and cotton, amplifying the grave threat posed to human health and environment. Further incinerators are operating unhindered in hospitals in U.P. To address the problem Ganga Sansthan has initiated the following activities.
Ganga Sansthan has conducted a programme on Effective Bio Medical Waste Management and Mercury Free Health Care Systems. The training was carried out in collaboration with Toxics Link at Lala Lajpat Rai and Associated Hospitals, Medical College, Kanpur; R.K.Sindhi Sangh Maternity Hospital, Kanpur and District Hospital, Sitapur. The training was supported with followup activities which helped in setting up model hospitals for waste management practices and is now serving as a demonstration site for other hospitals.
After completing the programme successfully in the above three hospitals, a Seminar and Training of Trainers on Bio Medical Waste Management was organized in collaboration with Toxics Link and U.P. Pollution Control Board in its hall. The event observed a participation of 82 participants from administrative level from renowned hospitals of Lucknow including SAHARA Hosp, Awadh Hospital, Ajanta Hosp, Fatima Hosp, Civil Hosp, St. Joseph Hosp, Harman Hosp, ICON Hosp, Fahmina Hosp and Saraswati Dental Centre etc.This calibrated effort has translated into some tangible initiatives which include initiation for the removal of incinerator, segregation of waste in appropriate dustbins as per the colour coding, placing the bins of Municipal Corporation in the hospitals. Sensitization of the nurses, ward boys, sweepers and the patients and their motivation on a regular basis which has helped in improving the situation in these hospitals.
The electronics industry is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. The last decade has seen a tremendous growth in the manufacturing and consumption of electronic and electrical equipments all over the world. As a consequence of this growth, combined with rapid product obsolescence and lower costs, discarded electronic and electrical equipments or ‘e-waste’ is now the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world. E-waste is end-of-life electronic and electrical gadgets. In simpler words, they are the broken, surplus or obsolete gadgets run by electricity. It includes discarded equipments like computers, printers, phones, TVs, fridges, toaster, electronic toys, etc.
India, currently, is estimated to generate more than 4 lakh tonnes of e-waste annually. The generation is estimated to go up many times in coming years, making it a critical issue. However, e-waste is not just a problem of waste quantity or volumes. The concern is compounded because of the presence of toxic materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, certain brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and many other chemicals. In a developing country like India, most e-wastes land up in the informal sector, where it is recycled without any consideration to health and environment. Open burning; acid baths, unventilated work spaces and crude handling of chemicals are typical of these operations, where susceptible groups like children and women are regularly employed. With no safety equipments at hand, the workers in some of the recycling hotspots spread all over the country, are exposed to the toxic cocktails daily. The unregulated practices also release hazardous materials in air, water and soil, thereby endangering our environment.
E Waste School Awareness Programme at Baba Vishvanath School, Shahjehanpur
Ganga Sansthan has been actively campaigning on the issue of safe management of e-waste in Uttar Pradesh through awareness building exercises among the schools and advocacy for the same. To raise the issue the organization selected 217 schools from Lucknow, Sitapur and Shahjehanpur including urban and rural areas. Out of the total 217 schools where the program was organized, 4723 students participated directly in the program whereas similar number of students benefitted from the program by being a part of audience. 513 teachers participated coordinated for the programme whereas 459 teachers remained onlookers in the same. Total 633 e-waste items were collected as waste from the schools which the students who gave it away promptly as they come to know that the e-waste is hazardous for their as well as human health and it should go to the authorized recyclers.
The Ganges river dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) represents the health of the river systems it inhabits. These dolphins were found in large numbers till a few years ago. But now their number has come down considerably. Its estimated current population is approximately 1200-2000 individuals in India and 500-600 in U.P. The reasons are poaching, lack of awareness and low priority by top level. The programme is an effort to educate children regarding the issue and spread the message in the community through them. Covering the activities of Teacher’s Orientation and School Events, a cluster level Dolphin Mela Event was organized at Sadhna Vidyalya, Poora Bazar Faizabad. Under the programme, 110 children from a cluster of 11 schools participated. Thereafter the event started with the speech of the chief guest Dr. Abdul Kalam, Program Coordinator, Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad motivated students to come forward and conserve environment. The drawing competition gave children a platform to display their creativity. Then quiz competition made them enhance their knowledge. The Debate Competition established the value of environment conservation among them. The children came forward and vowed to conserve the mammal and promised their thorough support to its conservation for long.
The Ganges river dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) has been recognised as the national aquatic animal of India. It is popularly known as Souns or Susu in Hindi. The Ganges river dolphin is distributed along Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems. This elusive aquatic animal represents the health of the river systems it inhabits. These dolphins were found in large numbers till a few years ago. But now their number has come down considerably. Its estimated current population is approximately 1200-2000 individuals which are found in India. The reason is the fishermen deliberately or innocently kill this mammal. Common man is also unaware of dolphin’s importance and hence do not take a care of it. This programme is an effort to educate children regarding the issue and spread the message in the community through them. Under the programme, in Faizabad district 30-35 schools along the riverside have been identified and selected and cluster for the area is formed. In each cluster school, teachers are identified to conduct the programme at school level. Identified teachers have undergone training in teacher’s orientation workshops and then have formed a small group of students as River Dolphin Clubs. Classroom based activities have been conducted by clubs also has reached to the local community especially fisherman community residing close the river bank. Motivated teachers have taken up activities suggested in the Ganges river dolphin manual with dolphin club group to motivate school students to take up awareness activities in the area. Activities as life chain(jeevan chakra) and ‘Who Am I’ are been carried out in the schools as follow up of the programme. A cluster level programme was organized through which the issue was raised collectively among the teachers, guardians and children community, this has had a long lasting effect on them.
One hundred schools from Kanpur and Unnao district were selected for environmental activities to promote by their own. For the purpose a teachers’ orientation workshop was organized in February at Kanpur and in March month at Unnao district and teachers were oriented regarding the five themes to work upon and become a Paryavaran Mitra School. The follow ups to these schools were made as to support them towards the cause. Moreover a district level event was also organized in each district among a cluster of schools. District level event was organized at Kanya Vidyalya, Mandhana, Kanpur and at Saraswati Vidyamandir Inter College, Shuklaganj, Unnao. Students enthusiastically participated in the events where cultural programmes from Sanskar Cultural Group, quiz competitions and other activities were done. The events also saw the participation of District Horticulture Officer along with the school principals. Events motivated the students and teachers who inspired others to come forward for the sake of environment.
During follow up with the schools Ganga team has come to know about the activities being undertaken by the schools enrolled under the programme. Some of these are:
At Gyan G.P.Memorial Vidya Mandir Inter college, principal Mr. Gyan Singh organized an essay and art competition at between the students of standard 6 to standard 12. The theme is conservation of environment by our own action. The essays reflected the ideas of more and more plantation, saving the water and managing the waste around us. The winners of Essay competition are Rohit Gautam from std 9th; Saurabh Shukla and Jyoti Pal from std. 6th; Pratistha Gautam from class 8th and Nidhi Patel & Divya Sharma from std. 11th. Apart from these 6 students 3 other students Saurabh Sonker (6th std), Neha Kanaujia (11th std) and Rishabh Dev Tripathi (9th std) got the prizes for winning the art competition.
Mrs. Maya Singh from Sardar Patel Higher Secondary School, Mandhana has started motivating students to practice YOGA and conserve our ancient cultural practice and live healthy. She has also emphasized for minimizing the use of water and diverting the used water towards garden for watering the plants as reusing the used water.
Madam Sneh Lata Awasthi, Principal from Kanya Vidyalya Junior High School is focusing over using the jute/cloth bags instead of using polythene bags. First of all she herself has taken a jute bag with her and now she is motivating the schools students to follow the same practice. She also is suggesting students to keep a small cloth bag with them whenever they go to the market and purchase the household item in the same. She is trying to minimize the use of polythene.
Teacher from Bal Niketan Balika Inter college has undertaken a very encouraging activity as one day, when the teachers were asked to take the children for outing. She took the children to a park. In the park she showed the children some elderly people doing yoga and exercises to keep them fit while the garbage and polythene thrown by the visitors was also lying at the corners of the park. She asked the children to collect the polythene lying in the park and announced the reward to that child who could take the maximum number. At last the park became neat and clean. The elderly people exercising there also blessed the children.
As explained in its objectives, GANGA is awaking the communities towards river pollution and role of a common man towards its elimination. The organization is implementing one of its own funded programme of ‘Gomti River Water Conservation Through Public Awareness at Lucknow city. Under the programme GANGA is focusing over 20 slums of Lucknow city situated near the river bank. The slum community Joshi Tola where the survey is conducted is situated within 100 meter radius of the Gomti River bank. At joshi Tola, around 200 families are residing in 115 houses. Only 5 % of the houses belong to middle class family or occupation rather the community is a habitat of only poor BPL families. During the survey it was revealed that most of the community members go for defecation in the open along the river side. As a result of which the excreta floats up the river water and causes pollution. Further the community is also unaware of its faulty behaviour through which the river pollution is being generated as mismanagement of the waste, use of polythene, throwing the offerings directly into the river and of course open defecation. The survey revealed that there is a community toilet situated inside the community still the members are not willing to pay its care taker and use it. Somehow GANGA team has perceived that some motivational events would be helpful in modifying the community behaviour.
To motivate the community toward a collective effort towards river pollution control, a mass awareness campaign was organized with the theme of Plantation-Sanitation & River Water Conservation in co-operation with the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi with the below given objectives:
- To sensitize the community about the various sources of river Pollution
- To change the faulty behavior of the community into positive one.
- To promote waste management amongst the community.
- To promote hygiene and sanitation among the community. To control the river pollution being generated by the ignorance of the community.
- To build an environment of river water conservation through highlighting the campaign in the media.
- To link the community with the river emotionally.
The campaign started by making a house to house contact by the team members of the organization. During the contact the community was informed about the two days programme to be held in the community. Thereafter the programme started with plantation as inauguration which was further followed by the speeches by guests like Mr. O.P. Verma, Asst. Director, and Environment Directorate. A shramdaan along the river side was arranged and various awareness activities were organized during the campaign. At the end children were distributed prizes too.
GANGA organized a Waste Management Awareness Programme at Joshi Tola. During the programme the community was sensitized enough about their role in keeping the streets clean and living a health life in a healthy environment. To prevent the streets from being loitered with the domestically generated waste every household was provided a dustbin to be kept inside the house in which the daily waste may be put. This waste may further be handed over to the Municipal Worker as it comes in the morning and the streets may be kept clean during all day long. The event focused over community attitude towards waste management, water conservation, pollution free environment and a healthy life. The community was addressed by Ms. Nandini Krishna, Social & Community Development Officer of JNNURM at Nagar Nigam; Advocate Uday Singh and Mr. V.K.Tiwari, residents of the same locality.
Combining our efforts with the Centre for Environment Education and Forest department of Lucknow (Avadh Van Prabhag), we celebrated World environment day at Kukrail Picnic Spot. We arranged games and activities with an environmental message for the children, and we distributed useful conservation information to the adults.
With the support of local elected leaders as corporator or ward councillor we have worked on environment issues in slum areas, raising awareness among the people of Garhi Kanaura, Mawaiya, Vrindavan Vihar Colony, Raibarely Road, and Newaz Kheda, Aishbagh slums of Lucknow city.
We also visited seven schools in the above communities and made them aware of pressing local environmental issues such as deforestation.
Due to the decreasing number of Cranes from the state, the organization was engaged in counting the Sarus Crane. The counting was arranged in collaboration with the officials of forest department existing at Range level. Mr. Asthana, Range officer, Nawabganj range linked the organization with such an interesting work. During the overall month the organization counted around 30 Sarus Crane at various spots of Nawabganj Range at Unnao district.
Towards the contribution of River Water Conservation, the organization assessed the situation around the localities situated around the Gomti river and found a few communities very closely located at the river bank as the Daliganj slums and the slums located at Thakurganj at Lucknow. The communities of these slums did not have any idea of how the river may be kept pollution free through public participation. The organization assessed the community need and conducted a survey in the above mentioned localities. During the survey the team members educated the community regarding solid waste management and sanitation practices expected by the public in interest of the river water conservation. The survey was conducted in Baraulia, Kutubpur and Iradatnagar slums of Daliganj & Mohnipurva, Daulatganj and Gendkhana of Thakurganj at Lucknow.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle your waste to protect environment, this was the message spread by the Ganga team on the day of environment celebration at the busiest locality of Lalbagh market at Sitapur. An appeal for minimizing the use of polythene and making use of jute and cloth bags was made. The campaign was lead by Mr. Gaurav Tripathi who contacted every shopkeeper and the consumers available at the marketplace at the moment and urged them to avoid taking polythene bags from the shops and take their bags as they step outside their home. Throughout the campaign the 110 shoppers and 50 shop owners were contacted and made aware of the hazardous of the polythene use. To mark the ceremonial day the team members were wearing green ribbons on their hands and distributing the posters written as ‘polythene hatayen, paryavaran bachayen’. The campaign got full public support as some shopkeepers opined that the government should ban the use of polythene, some said that it is also a business of profit for them and some even started convening the campaign. Many owners pasted the posters on their walls right at the time of the campaign. The event was also an attraction for the media who highlighted the news through newspapers and marked the success of the campaign.