Himalaya Waste Projects Under Threat Of Closure
The waste management projects in Bhagsu and Triund mountain camp may soon be shut down due to lack of funds. Here’s how your CSR Funding can help.
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Project by: Waste Warriors
Funding Required: INR 12 Lacs
Category: Eligible CSR activity as per Companies Act 2013, Schedule VII
(iv) ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna, …conservation of natural resources and maintaining quality of soil, air and water;
Here’s what the Waste Warriors have to say about their project:
Waste Warriors has been working hard to keep the mountains clean since 2012 but the Dharamsala project will soon be stopped unless we raise enough funds to continue working there. Triund has become known as one of the cleanest hiking destinations in the country, despite being visited by approximately 10,000 people each month but sadly, due to lack of support and no financial assistance from the Government and the businesses there, we are now running at a huge deficit with the project and a decision has been made to close it down.
In addition to the Triund project we also provide a waste collection in Bhagsu and the majority of places we collect from have no vehicle access making our work extremely challenging. We host weekly clean’s drives at Bhagsu waterfall and out in the local community, provide dustbins for use by the general public, do awareness raising art projects, educational children’s events etc.
We have collected and processed over 980 tonnes of waste from Bhagsunag and Triund since August 2012 and if we cease to work in these areas, the results will be catastrophic!
Please donate so that we can keep our projects going and continue to take care of the mountains. Everyone agrees that the work we are doing is essential but we cannot continue without funding. Please share this page with your friends, family and contacts so they too can support our cause.
About the NGO
Our Founder Jodie Underhill started the Triund project in 2009. She was so dismayed to see the garbage strewn around the mountain camp and down the mountainside, that she immediately started clean-up drives, a weekly waste collection service and set up a recycling station at Galu, the popular trekking crossroads. Waste Warriors was registered in 2012 and has been doing awesome work there ever since.
Waste Warriors is a not for profit organization and a registered society committed to tackling India’s garbage problem. We do this through a combination of direct action, liaison and awareness raising, with an emphasis on civic pride and education. We have projects in Dharamsala, Dehradun and around the Corbett Tiger Reserve. We employ around 60 members of staff, the majority of those are Waste Workers from some of the poorest sectors of society. Our work has been praised across the country but fundraising remains our largest challenge.
The Current Situation
The project is managed by Project Assistants Vivek and Sanam, who recruit volunteers to help them clean the trail and segregate the waste from all of the chai shops and guest houses en-route to and at the mountain camp itself. The segregated, bagged up waste is then bought down to Bhagsunag by the mules that take the supplies up the mountain. Last year we spent nearly a lakh on mules alone to bring all of the waste down. Recyclable waste is then further segregated and sent for recycling and the non-recyclable waste goes to the official dumping ground in Lower Dharamsala.
Our Other Projects in Dharamsala
In addition to the Triund project, we also run a number of other projects in the Bhagsunag area. These projects are also at risk of closure as we do not have the funding to sustain them.
Door-to-Door Waste Collection
We run a door-to-door waste collection for businesses and households in Lower and Upper Bhagsunag and collect from over 200 places during the busy tourist season. Given that many of these places are inaccessible by road, our Green Workers have to carry waste for up to 2km’s. The terrain is steep meaning our workers have to be in prime physical shape to do their jobs. Providing a waste collection service has massively reduced the amount of burning and dumping in the forest and nullahs (streams). We receive monthly donations from the households and businesses but not enough to cover the costs of providing the service.
Maintaining the Cleanliness of Bhagsunag
This once sleepy village is now a mass of hotels, guesthouses and restaurants. During the main tourist season, Bhagsunag sees an average of 5000 tourists per day! The Municipality only employs 2 people to clean there, the same amount that they had 7 years ago despite the increase in tourism and population. Our workers maintain the cleanliness of the main square and taxi area, the main shopping hill and the two children’s playgrounds.
We are huge advocates of the importance of dustbins – we have installed dustbins all over Bhagsunag, and we empty them on a regular basis. We also empty dustbins that have been installed by the Vyipar Mandal, so in total we manage 42 dustbins. Dustbins are essential if cleanliness is to be achieved and people definitely use them if they are available.
Every Thursday we host a clean-up at tourist hotspot, Bhagsu Waterfall. Not only is this place visited by thousands of tourists it is also used as a place for swimming and washing clothes by the locals. In addition to cleaning around the waterfall we also clean the trail that leads there from Bhagsu. We provide a waste collection service to the businesses in this area and have installed signage and dustbins there in order to mitigate littering.
Community Clean-Up Drives
We conduct regular community clean-ups in our local area, including the surrounding forests and hiking trails. We choose an area to clean, recruit volunteers to help us, many of them are tourists passing through and others are from various organizations. We work hard to involve community members but it’s not easy due to the social stigma attached to waste. We ensure that waste is collected segregated so that we can recycle as much as possible.
We truly understand the importance of educating the next generation about waste management so we run educational children’s events and conduct activities with schools. Local school children get involved in our clean-up drives and awareness raising activities too.
Please Support Us!
For all of you that can appreciate the beauty of the mountains, want a clean India or have seen first hand how important our work is please donate. Share this appeal on your social media, speak with family and friends and help us to raise enough funds to cover our basic expenses for the Dharamsala project for the year ahead. Thanks in advance for all your help.
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