By Sheshu Babu*
Much has been debated over waste disposal and waste management. But the root cause of ‘ creation’ of waste is not discussed often. To reduce waste, the problem of creating waste should be addressed.
One of the main producers of waste are the rich who spend a lot on ceremonies. Recently, a Gupta family wedding in Auli, Uttarakhand, created lot of disposable waste. It made the Municipal Corporation to take up the challenging task of cleaning the garbage.
“… More than 300 quintals of waste have been cleaned. There were some troubles but we managed to clean the area” , Anil Kumar, cleaning staff of Joshimath Municipal Corporation told the news agency ANI. The Municipality deployed 20 workers for cleaning.
Some months ago, the Ambani wedding ceremony too saw wastage of wealth. The cost was about 100 crore. Times Now commented, “Rs 100 crore for a marriage bill? Yes, it is possible if you are Ambanis!” The pre- wedding ceremony lasted for about a week. Though the ceremony gave some poor people good food for a few days, much wealth was wasted on luxuries.
While the rich corporates and politicians spend huge amount of money, they do not normally take note of ecological imbalance caused by their selfish entertainment. Plastic bottles, paper used for decoration, wastage of water beside food, piles up garbage which is invariably cleaned by ordinary labourers and ‘waste ‘ pickers.
They are hired by these rich people or municipalities for a pittance to clean up the area.
Even celebrities, politicians, film artists and spiritual gurus attend the bash and rarely think of the garbage created by such lavish ceremonies. They do not usually try to expose the after -effects of performing such entertainment.
This is not just wastage of wealth but, more importantly, a danger to the environment in the area. The people who pick up the garbage may have temporary benefits by selling the scrap but wastage of such proportion is unacceptable in a country of poverty like India.
While the rich create excessive wealth despite spending excessively on ceremonies, the poor , specially lower caste people who are engaged in cleaning, remain poor with no appreciable benefit.
Though PILs in courts against such spending have been submitted from time to time, the result has not been satisfactory. Fines and reprimanding of governments may have little effect. Stringent measures on banning the culture of celebrating lavishly must be taken up by the government.
Permission for hosting these celebrations should not be given or, at least, regulated so that ecology in the area does not affect local people. The money wasted could be used to alleviate poverty and many productive purposes for the welfare of the country.
*Writer from everywhere and anywhere, is interested in human rights issues