SWaCH deputes 200 waste-pickers at 40 visarjan locations to collect nirmalya - Hindustan Times
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SWaCH deputes 200 waste-pickers at 40 visarjan locations to collect nirmalya

BySiddharth Gadkari
Sep 23, 2023 12:04 AM IST

The pioneering initiative, which began in 2007, has seen dedicated waste-pickers of SWaCH collecting segregated votive offerings or nirmalya during each Ganpati festival for the last over 15 years

PUNE: SWaCH – the organisation authorised by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to collect waste in the city – has deputed 200 dedicated waste-pickers at 40 prime immersion (visarjan) locations on September 23 and 28 to collect nirmalya (ritual offerings such as durva, flowers and leaves).

Every year during Ganpati, the waste-pickers retrieve over 100 tons of nirmalya only to ensure its return to Nature via environmentally-friendly means such as composting. (HT PHOTO)
Every year during Ganpati, the waste-pickers retrieve over 100 tons of nirmalya only to ensure its return to Nature via environmentally-friendly means such as composting. (HT PHOTO)

The pioneering initiative, which began in 2007, has seen dedicated waste-pickers of SWaCH collecting segregated votive offerings or nirmalya during each Ganpati festival for the last over 15 years. Every year during Ganpati, the waste-pickers retrieve over 100 tons of nirmalya only to ensure its return to Nature via environmentally-friendly means such as composting. This year marks the 16th edition of this ‘nirmalya to nisarga’ initiative, with 200 waste-pickers stationed at 40 prime immersion locations on September 23 and 28. The SWaCH-PMC collaboration is aimed not only at environmental conservation but also preservation of the city’s cultural traditions.

Vidya Naiknaware, board member, SWaCH, said, “When we visit homes to collect waste, citizens invite us and make us a part of their Ganpati celebrations and offer us prasad. These moments are a testament to our identity as fellow citizens of Pune. We understand that if we were to take a day off during the festival, the city would be burdened with heaps of waste. With this sense of responsibility, we have been faithfully attending immersion ghats for 15 years to collect nirmalya.”

“This year too, we appeal to Pune’s citizens to contribute to our mission by handing over nirmalya separately to the SWaCH waste-pickers. Please ensure that no other waste is mixed with it. Together, we are committed to safeguarding the environment and culture of our beloved city,” she said.

SWaCH and PMC have jointly appealed to all citizens to refrain from disposing of the nirmalya in open areas, on bridges, or in water bodies within the city. Instead, citizens are encouraged to entrust their nirmalya to the SWaCH waste-pickers, reinforcing the shared commitment to protecting Nature and Pune’s culture.

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