I had been on a trekking trip to Srikhola, in Darjeeling, when I was 12. Around 60 of us were taught to collect all the plastic waste we generated and store them in a bag, instead of throwing them everywhere. The mountains are precious – like you and me – we were told. This practice stayed with me ever since and I wanted to know more ways about how to curb the growing menace that waste is.
Two weeks back, I took my first steps towards understanding the nuances of waste segregation and the innumerable ways in which WE can curb the problem. The Saahas NGO team visited one of their project sites near Puttenhalli Lake, in Bengaluru. The team had distributed big blue bags a week earlier to all households, for storing dry (non-biodegradable) waste in them. A week after, Divya, the CEO, decided to accompany the collection team and interact one-on-one with the locals for an impromptu door-to-door awareness campaign. There’s a low-income settlement bordering the lake and they have been dumping their waste in and around the lake as the collection of waste is irregular their area. This is, in turn, affecting the eco-system, resulting in an unhygienic settlement. What I experienced next, is going to be a part of me forever.