M A I N   N E W S

Haryana village turns garbage to gold
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Shanta Devi fills packets of vermicompost at the “Kachre se Kamai” shed in village Sanwla of Kurukshetra on Monday.
Shanta Devi fills packets of vermicompost at the “Kachre se Kamai” shed in village Sanwla of Kurukshetra on Monday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Kurukshetra, September 20
Village refuse means money in Sanwla. That’s probably why the entire village with a 1000-strong population has decided to commit itself to its total sanitation. Not surprisingly, Sanwala wears a clean and green look-no polythene bags littered in open spaces, no garbage heaps and no flies to greet visitors.

Near the village pond is the experimental lab, a shed christened “Kachre Se Kamai”, where the garbage is collected and dumped. It is the centre of activity during the day with a few villagers sifting through the refuse, segregating them, giving “best out of waste” an all new meaning.

In one corner, women are busy filling packets of vermicompost, prepared from kitchen waste, for sale while in another, cardboard is soaked in a mix of clay and water to ready it for decorative items of papier mache. Some colourful parrots and vases adorn the shelf above.

The village sarpanch, Jaswinder Singh, who monitors the working, says: “We have already marketed vermicompost which is being sold at Rs 25 a kg. Some decoration items from papier mache have also been put on sale. With the polythene and plastic, we intend to make mats once the ‘collection’ is substantial.” The endeavour started six months ago and, with help from the district administration, the village has persuaded dhabas to deposit their garbage at the village shed. Explains Additional Deputy Commissioner Sumedha Kataria, who is dedicated to the cause of sanitation and is behind replicating the Vellore model of “Garbage to Gold” in Kurukshetra:

“After a number of our panchayats won the Nirmal Gram Puraskar, the ‘what next’ question kept troubling me. That’s when, at a conference, I met the man behind the Vellore project, C. Srinivasan, and asked him to guide us.”

She visited Sanwla a number of times to motivate the villagers to segregate the dry (plastic, glass and the like) and the wet (kitchen and vegetable waste) waste in their homes and keep dustbins.

“Once the project took off, we realised that everything is valuable. While we have identified use of every single thing that comes in as garbage, we are working on ways to use thermacol. Given this pilot project’s success, we have decided to start the scheme in 100 villages by the year-end,” she informs.





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