Tuesday, 23 May 2023 | PNS | DEHRADUN
The Municipal Corporation of Kashipur (MCK) has been raising awareness among locals every month regarding the effect of the extensive use of plastic on health via over 100 women of 16 Self Help Groups (SHGs). These women raise awareness about the severe effects of plastic usage on health while collecting user charges of door to door garbage collection service every month, said the municipal commissioner Vivek Rai. He told The Pioneer that they are not solely focussing on raising awareness about the severe effect of plastic usage on the environment but on the health of people too. He said, “The usage of plastic has become so prevalent that many continue to use it despite knowing its effect on the environment. Considering this, we shifted our focus to making the anti-plastic campaign about the health of people rather than just about the environment. Our women’s team tell them how plastic affects their health. They make them aware of issues like why they should not use single-use plastic to stop water leakage by tying it up over the leakage spot or why food must not be kept in single-use plastic or any random plastic container. We make them aware of proper disposal of plastic bottles containing soft drinks or water after use rather than using them to store water at home as it can cause several health issues too. These sound small issues to many but they can potentially lead to huge health concerns.” He said that the corporation gives five per cent of the user charges collected by women every month from all 40 wards as their payments to keep them engaged in this cause. He said that the corporation has also asked ragpickers to sell the plastic collected by them through MCK for recycling as they mostly get less money from other buyers. He said, “We offered them to pay the market price of plastic waste for recycling but most of them stay reluctant because they are in financial debt to most of their buyers. We have given them the option to contact us and many will hopefully approach the corporation in future. We are also offering to admit their children to government schools with the help of an NGO. We have admitted eight children so far.” He said that the corporation has also appealed Eunichs, who go to several homes throughout the year to perform and celebrate happy occasions of locals, to ask people to not throw garbage on roads and dispose of it properly. “There is a belief that people listen to them considering which we asked them to help us in this initiative. I have heard from several sources that most of them actually do ask people to not litter in public places,” added the commissioner.