Pune, 14th September 2021: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), SWaCH Pune and Cummins India have come together this year too for the project ‘Nirmalya’ during the Ganpati festival.
SWaCH waste pickers have started the doorstep collection of Nirmalya from citizens. PMC will further process the huge quantity of collected votive offerings naturally. Nirmalya has helped Pune gain an identity of a city that blends festive celebrations with environment conservation.
Pune’s most celebrated festival also observes a surge of votive offerings like flowers, garlands and durva which can be naturally composted. To protect the environment of Pune without hurting any religious sentiments, ‘Nirmalya to Nisarga’ is helping the city to celebrate the festival responsibly for the last 11 years. Through the initiative, SWaCH waste pickers collect votive offerings from citizens and hand them over to PMC vehicles for further processing. Cummins India facilitates waste pickers with bags for collection.
While speaking about the initiative Alok Gogate, Operations Head, SWaCH said, “Ganpati festival is a part of Pune’s cultural identity. Through initiatives like Nirmalya to Nisarga waste pickers of SWaCH alongside citizens have helped not only to cultural values but also to preserve the environment of the city. This year, the initiative has begun on 12th September and Punekars have responded astoundingly this year as well.
The tradition of keeping Nirmalya separate from waste is nowhere hampered as a segregated collection of votive offerings has enabled waste pickers and PMC to naturally process the huge quantity of Nirmalya generated during Ganpati Festival. The collection system built by waste pickers in association with PMC has been one of the most successful collaborations for the city.
In the last 3 years, a total 286 metric tons of Nirmalya has been collected and diverted from ending up in city’s waste streams. Before the pandemic, SWaCH waste pickers used to engage with citizens at river front for Nirmalya collection. Now, they are reaching doorsteps of citizens to continue the initiative without any hiatus.”
On 12th September, citizens made participated in Nirmalya to Nisarga in significant numbers. SWaCH has appealed to citizens to participate with equal enthusiasm on 15th and 20th September too.
In order to celebrate Ganeshotsav responsibly, citizens are urged to segregate their Nirmalya. Segregated Nirmalya would be collected by SWaCH waste pickers or PMC vehicles separately along with wet and dry waste on 15th and 20th September just like 12th September. Nirmalya includes only votive offerings like garlands, flowers, leaves. Citizens must ensure that plastic, thermocole, cotton material, frames, idols or their remains and food items are not kept in Nirmalya. These votive offerings are composted and given to farmers. So, it is essential that any material that could damage the cultural sentiment must not be mixed with Nirmalya.
To preserve the culture and environment of Pune, Mayor and Municipal commissioner have appealed to citizens to not dispose of any votive offerings at the riverside or any other water stream in the city.
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