Wanaparthy: Wanaparthy samsthanam has been known for its enlightened people, educated class and many writers, poets, artists and other creative geniuses. After being carved as a new district after the formation of Telangana, Wanaparthy has undergone many transformations in irrigation, agriculture and other sectors.
The most recent transformation which is under progress is the District Administration’s initiative to rid the district of plastic, for which seeds were sown by District Collector Sweta Mohanty about a month ago. The initiative which may be called wishful thinking by pessimists, is well on its way to becoming a reality in the long-term.
The district administration has initiated several steps to get the rural areas free of single-use plastic, which is the most dreaded health hazard for the people. The beginning of the effort started with a seminar organized at the district headquarters, which was attended by thousands. Similar awareness programmes were held in mandals and villages across the district.
For a start, school children from 120 government institutions were involved in making one lakh paper bags, out of which 58,000 bags have been distributed free of cost to shops and markets. Women from self-help groups have also been roped-in to make cloth bags from cloth material costing anywhere between Rs 1 to Rs 50, which would soon find their way into markets for people to buy, to avoid using plastic bags. With this initiative, not only a new industry is being created, but people are also being encouraged to use alternative method to plastic usage for their day-to-day needs. This is a production effort which is in progress.
In addition to these efforts, the administration has assigned one district officer as the special officer for 4-5 villages. These special officers would visit those villages every Wednesday and would ensure that no plastic waste is found in those villages through cleanliness drives and would also create awareness among the people in those villages through various activities by involving people’s representatives. ‘Telangana Samskruthika Saradhi,’ a cultural troupe, has also been roped-in to spread awareness among the people in villages to shun plastic. This way, art is also being encouraged to bring about a cultural renaissance.
The collected plastic is being sent to Hyderabad for recycling. In the last one month, 10,200 kilo grams of plastic waste has been collected, out of which 3,000 kilo grams have been given to an organization called ‘Hello dustbin’ and the rest has been sent to Hyderabad for recycling, so that income could be generated, which could be used to fund campaigns like this.
District Collector Sweta Mohanty has been supervising these efforts personally by visiting several villages, in addition to encouraging people to use toilets which were built as part of Swachh Bharat Mission, plant saplings as part of Haritha Haram and to encourage people to keep their villages clean by preventing overflowing drains and stagnation of water.