30,160 kg nirmalya collected by SWacH

Nikhil Borkar
Wednesday, 11 September 2019

“For almost 7 to 8 years, I am working to divert immersion of nirmalya from entering the rivers. Our organisation has set up a special container on the ghat side for nirmalya collection,” said waste-picker Mariyuva Kailga (35).

Pune: SWaCH, a non-profitable organisation of waste pickers, collected 8,060 kg dry waste and 30,160 kg nirmalya, fruits and other wet waste on the fifth day of Ganpati Visarjan (idol immersion) on Sunday in Pune. A total of 7,720 Ganpati idols were immersed in the tanks placed at four ghats.

140 SWaCH waste-picker members and 65 SWaCH coordinators were joined by volunteers from Cummins India, Sudarshan Chemicals and NGO Jeevitnadi.

Like each year, SWaCH is ready with volunteers of Cummins India at 18 ghats, Sudarshan Chemicals at two ghats in Pune and Emcure Pharmaceuticals at three ghats in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

“For almost 7 to 8 years, I am working to divert immersion of nirmalya from entering the rivers. Our organisation has set up a special container on the ghat side for nirmalya collection,” said waste-picker Mariyuva Kailga (35).

Project Manager of the initiative, Priya Kathuria said, “While there is awareness among the people, newcomers have to be convinced at the ghats to segregate waste.  Citizens should send their dry waste for recycling and wet waste for composting.”

SWaCH waste-picker Pinky Jadhav (37) said, “When I started working on immersion days at the ghats, I faced difficulty in telling people about nirmalya, fruit and other waste segregation. However, awareness among people has increased and the recent plastic ban has lessened the extent of river pollution.”

The Outreach Function Head of SWaCH, Suchismta Pai, said, “Ganesh festival normally leaves glaring images of garbage and immersed idols floating into river water, but to protect our rivers, SWaCH members and volunteers succeeded in collecting waste on the 5th day of immersion. We are ready for the final day of immersion. SWaCH will keep their members at both entrance and end point of the ghats.”

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