Have you ever heard about zero waste village? A village which is 100% eco-friendly? Vatavaran established replicable and original model for urban society, scientific and zero landfill system as an ideal way how to solve solid waste management.
Recently the project is happening in Aliyar and Dhana villages on the request of the Maruti Suzuki India which is working in that area. Aliyar and Dhana were in the past agricultural villages. With the development of the city, the land was bought by HSIDC and sold to the industry companies who established their plants. The land was taken and the owners got reimbursements with which they rebuilt their buildings for rents. The land was taken and the owners got reimbursements, but most of the people who worked on the land had lost everything. People lost jobs and the lack of skills which were needed for the possible job positions made the situation even worse. The area got industrialized. Owners of land became the landlords of the buildings. The rest became unemployed and poor. Unemployment has increased alcoholism. On the other hand population of the villages is still growing. Most of the buildings have around 45 rooms and in every room lives 2 to 4 tenants. The lack of space and no proper waste management made the villages dirty and unhealthy for their habitants.
Waste is lying everywhere around. Some of the families just throw the garbage every single day in the nearest empty field. Some waste is collected by rag pickers who are a very important part in the chain of recycling. Still, a huge part of waste finds its place in the land.
Vatavaran and Maruti Suzuki India has decided to help these villages with Zero Waste model. They will organize training for thousands of villagers to dispose off the waste at the right place and in the right way. The present empty area, which is full of trash will be reconstructed and used for separation and storage of recyclables. The biodegradable waste will be used to produce energy. Paper will be recycle as well raw materials. A part of the project is also green building and self help groups. Stitching, mushroom and neem products unit would primarily empower the women of the twin villages and raise the economic status of the villages. Vatavaran′s Zero waste project will not just take care of the waste material, but will also provide electricity in the village, empower the women, make rag pickers waste mangers, brings equality and create green jobs for the inhabitants.
On 2nd of October as a tribute to birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and second anniversary of Swachh bharat Vatavaran started with an awareness campaign where they introduced the Zero waste project to the villagers. Thousands of villagers had gathered in the only park of twin villages Aliyar and Dhana. After brief opening and meditation with the help of Art of Living the youth brigade let by Rakesh Kumar from Aliyar and Parveen Verma from Dhana undertook cleaning of the two villages, with the help of women, girls, Vatavaran team and guests. 4 teams in 4 corners cleaned the whole village, while they were spreading the word with slogans. The women team was ahead of every other team. To raise mass awareness cultural program, debates and poetry recitation was undertaken. Enthusiasm of the people was wonderful! The whole village participated and now the villagers are super excited for the project!
In a perfect world, there should be a closed loop between waste creation and recycling. Ideally speaking, every colony in a city or village ought to be zero waste area. This is possible is every colony, unit, village handle its own waste in the circular economy. And this is what exactly is happening in Aliyar and Dhana villages.
Katja Polc, Member of Vatavaran team