In a brilliant example of home-based plastic reduction solutions under the 3Rs (Reduce, reuse, recycle) in the rural areas; women Self Help Groups (SHGs) of Shajapur District in Madhya Pradesh, are taking an active role in the fight against plastic. This is very much in keeping with the Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) that aims to sustain ODF status and management solid and liquid waste to bring about visual cleanliness in villages.
According to Ms. Misha Singh, CEO – Zila Panchayat, Shajapur, women are being made partners in their fight against plastic.
They are using left over pieces of cloth and old clothes and converting them into bags they can use on an everyday basis for various purposes. This household level initiative will reduce the need for polythene and plastic bags, leading to a plastic free future.
Meanwhile, in a bid to make 234 villages ODF Plus, the district administration is monitoring the construction of individual and community soak pits to promote liquid waste management that will lead to better hygiene stands and improved public health.
Additionally, as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign, Swachhata raths (vans) are going from village to village with messages of sanitation, hygiene, good hand washing practices and solid and liquid waste management. The Swachhata vans also organise people centric activity, usually at busy places in the villages such as markets and temples where scores of people congregate.
With an aim is to generate awareness in the rural blocks on the importance of solid and liquid waste management, competitions are being held for both children and adults, where participants are given a mixed bag of waste and asked to separate into blue, (recyclable waste), green (biodegradable waste) and red categories (hazardous waste). Those who complete the activity within a minute are rewarded. Focused on behaviour change, the waste segregation activity has been the most popular.