NEW DELHI: Dussehra was celebrated at the Ramlila grounds in New Delhi in a unique and eco-friendly manner this year, with a 30-35 feet tall effigy of Ravana made of plastic waste disposed of mechanically, conveying the traditional message of victory of good over evil. This was the first time that the crowd at the Ramlila grounds witnessed a narrative in which Ravana, in plastic, symbolised the evil demon, harmful to the society and the environment. The plastic Ravana was in addition to the traditional effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath, which were burnt.
The event was organised by the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.“We are immensely happy with the support of CMA in waste shramdaan activities, showcasing the process they are using to manage single-use plastic waste. Single-use plastic, a huge environmental threat, can be disposed of in cement kilns with no harmful environmental issues as they use high temperatures in which hazardous gases get absorbed,” said Durga Shankar Mishra, secretary at the ministry.
Former Union minister and MP Vijay Goel ‘lit’ the Ravan and urged people to avoid use of single-use plastic. Addressing the audience, Goel said that the plastic effigy could be reduced to waste by pressing a button. “The aim of this is to promote the use of plastic as a new fuel in the cement industry. It will reduce the cost of fuel by 20 per cent,” Goel added. Mishra said that the urban development ministry was in talks with cement manufacturers on sustainable use of single-use plastic so that the discarded plastic waste could be efficiently transported to cement plants. The plastic effigy was made by the Shri Ram Leela Committee, Ram Leela Ground, with the help of CMA.
“The entire programme went well. The crowd was elated and took a pledge to avoid the use of plastics,” said Rajesh Khanna, a member of the committee. Varsha Joshi, commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, expressed her eagerness to avail of the facility of disposing of non-recyclable single-use plastic generated in her area through cement plants. She said: “We have recently started bioremediation of our legacy landfill as well, which would generate large quantities of plastic waste. We hope to utilise all of this in creative and safe methods, including through cement plants”.
Mahendra Singhi, President, CMA, and MD and CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat), said: “We are glad to partner with the Government of India in this mammoth social and environmental cause. The cement industry is a critical partner in the government’s goal towards Samuchit Niptaan, the total disposal of waste and plastics. The entire cement industry has come together in this noble initiative to fight plastic pollution and make its significant contribution towards environment protection.”
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib bans use of single-use plastic
New Delhi: Gurdwara Bangla Sahib has decided to ban use of all types of plastic in the shrine complex to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, said the shrine in the heart of the national capital had banned disposable cutlery and switched to steel bowls for serving drinking water and steel plates for serving community food to devotees. Jute bags and leaf bowls are being used to distribute “prasad” and fruits to devotees daily since October 2. The DSGMC has also set up a recycling plant capable of handling two tonnes of flower, langar waste and dry leaves a day, to make organic manure and vermicompost. The plant has been commissioned on an experimental basis on the zero-waste model.