Waging War on Waste in Dharamshala - A Stakeholder's Conference

Kangra district has struggled to manage municipal solid waste being generated here and in recent times the management issues have become bigger in tourist spots like Dharamshala and Mcleod Ganj. On 16th September at Hotel Centre Point, our team organized ‘Waging War on Waste in Dharamshala’, which saw participation from various organizations and NGOs who have been working in the field of waste management.

‘Waging a War on Waste in Dharamshala’: Waste Warriors Dharamsala’s 1st stakeholder’s conference in identifying challenges and opportunities towards a cleaner and greener Dharamshala.

Written by Anshul Akhoury

The agenda of our stakeholders meeting was to bring the community together and identify solutions towards effective management of waste generation. Our team organized an interactive program aiming at raising awareness regarding this problem. The conference had two interesting panel discussions on the topics of ‘State of Waste Management in Dharamsala’ and ‘Role of Local Stakeholders in Managing Dharamsala’s Waste’.

 

‘State of Waste Management in Dharamsala’ was moderated by Mr. Lalit Mohan from The Tribune. The dignitaries who attended this panel were Shabab Ahmad from the Department of Social Work at the Central University of HP, Mohinder Kumar from Nishtha, Meenakshi Kapoor, an independent researcher, and Avinash Pratap Singh, CEO at Waste Warriors Society.

 

The panel on ‘Role of Local Stakeholders in managing Dharamshala’s Waste’ was moderated by Mr. Pawan Sharma from Divya Himachal. Dignitaries who attended this session were Sanjeev Sharma, Divisional Forest Officer at the HP Forest Department, Munish Sharma from the District Rural Development Agency, Ngawang Sonam from The Tibetan Settlement office, and Vishal Nehriya from Himalaya Parivar Himachal Pradesh.

Representatives from Aima and Khalet Panchayat, Sanjeev Rana and Hema S. Thakur respectively, participated in the conference as well. They discussed their models for a cleaner and greener way to segregate waste. Mr. Sanjeev Rana announced that their panchayat has a population of 7000 and has set up a modern garbage treatment plant for sustainable waste management. Aima Panchayat is the first to do so in the entire state of Himachal Pradesh.

 

Our team took this opportunity to announce their move to a new office space in lower Dharamsala. Ms. Mira Rehla from Trimurti Gardens and Mr. Krishna Lal from Krishna General Store, both long lasting supporters of Waste Warriors, cut the ribbon around a dustbin as an expression of the new office inauguration.

 

Post ‘Waging War on Waste in Dharamshala’, our team has started working towards providing the much-needed infrastructure for effective waste management in Dharamshala. The team has collaborated with the Dharamshala Municipal Corporation for projects such as transforming Ward 7 into a model ward within the city, conducting a waste pickers survey for undocumented waste pickers, and is in the process of identifying space for a Materials Recovery Facility. We have also launched an education program called ‘Swachhta Ki Pathshala’. Our Outreach and Partnerships department has partnered with student bodies such as Central University, NIFT - Kangra, and Degree College to better integrate colleges and universities, and are in the process of engaging more campuses.

Staying true to our name, we certainly feel we are waging a war on waste. It is impossible for us to do this on our own, so we do request each and every Dhasa local to join us in this battle and in making Dharamshala one of the cleanest cities in the country.