Sunday, November 30, 2014

A crisis as usual in Bengaluru. If only we had listened to N S Ramakanth and others like him!

I have become used to garbage.  In fact, I have a darshan of it every morning. Not so my friend Ramakanth from my school days. He has been trying hard to get rid of it since his return to India some years ago. His passion is to make Bengaluru a clean city.

He was with us for the get-together for Tara's father's 98 birthday. I know appa used to call Ramakanth often while he was the president of the Kumara Park Residents association. We had not met for a while and I spoke to him about his passion. 

He said come with me and walked out of the hall and pointed to garbage piled next to an ugly transformer on the foot path. (That is another story, the pathetic condition of footpaths in Bengaluru!). He said 'Your caterer did that. Most of it is dry waste and could have been easily recycled. So next time make it a condition that the caterer segregates.' I said yes and asked him to tell me more about his work.

It happened soon, I joined him on his visit to a school in Indira Nagar. (More about it later!). 
On the way to the school, he said he takes a bus wherever it is convenient. As a  member of the BBMP Solid Waste Management Expert Committee, he is constantly on the move  talking to schools, apartment complexes, small vendors and so on.

There are many things to tell, but what hit me was the video which shows the condition of Mandur village. It was shocking! While it was no-brainer that BBMP took an easy way out, I do not know what prompted the villagers to accept this garbage. Ramakanth says it is complicated and there is no easy solution. Big monies are spent in collecting, segregating and taking it to Mandur and dumping it in Mandur. Obviously vested interests are not going to let go of this easily. 

But it is not just the corrupt officials, politicians and business people who are to be blamed. I guess each of one of us in Bengaluru are culpable. We need to do our bit.      I believe most of have a conscience and I am sure, once we see the video, we will all be shaken up from our slumber and will do our bit to make Bengaluru a better place to live.

I plan to blog again about Ramakanth and his work in detail. He is busy till next week. The steps are simple and easily implementable. 

Some news items which gives you an idea of the seriousness of the problem and the about N S Ramakanth:

Segregate or we won’t lift garbage, says BBMP

TNN | 29 Nov 2014, 05:21 IST|With the Mandur landfill closed and Mavallipura residents up in arms against dumping of garbage in their midst, the BBMP has woken up to a stinker. Desperately searching for solutions, it has decided to lift waste only if citizens segregate it at source.

Mandur out of the dump, but alternatives not ready
TNN | 22 Nov 2014, 04:00 IST|It was celebration time in Mandur on Friday. Dumping of garbage stopped in the village, near Hoskote, a good 10 days before the December 1 deadline set by chief minister Siddaramaiah.

Mayor lines up sketchy post-Mandur plans

TNN | 7 Nov 2014, 04:00 IST|The Mandur clock is ticking away. There are just 22 days to go before garbage dumping here is, well, dumped from December 1.

HC allows processing of wet waste at 2 locations

TNN | 1 Nov 2014, 04:09 IST|The high court on Friday allowed BBMP to process for now the city's wet waste at the facilities available in Mavallipura and Mandur 

Garbage and traffic are major worries

TNN | 29 Oct 2014, 04:00 IST|Both educated and uneducated respondents have voiced similar opinions on the issues. Interestingly, the top five issues are the same for both men and women.

Mandur' - 5 Video Result(s)

Search Results


    Trash craft. N S Ramakanth Garbage into gold. He has a one-point agenda to turn Ben¬galuru back into the Garden City it once was. And to achieve this, N S ...
  2. NS Ramakanth - I Change My City

    N S Ramakanth. After returning from his three decade-long stint abroad, Mr. Ramakanth was appalled by the condition that prevails in Bangalore. “When I left the ...
  3. N S Ramakanth: Latest News, Videos, Photos | Times of India › Topics

    See N S Ramakanth Latest News, Photos, Biography, Videos and Wallpapers. N S Ramakanth profile on Times of India.
  4. N.S.Ramakanth - About | Facebook

    Create Page. N.S.Ramakanth is on Facebook. To connect with N.S.Ramakanth, sign up for Facebook today. Sign UpLog In ...
  5. Journey of Waste by Mr. N.S. Ramakanth and Mr. Marwan ...
    Feb 6, 2013 - Uploaded by CommonFloor RightStep
    Forming an Efficient Association and Waste Management 26th, January 2013, Bangalore.
  6. NS Ramakanth - The unsung hero from Bangalore - › ... › Archive through October 01, 2012

    Oct 1, 2012 - 6 posts - ‎3 authors
    Yes, know her. Lok Satta is the platform for all such good people. If only people vote. How shameless is it to enjoy the services of a retired old ...


N L Sriram said...

I am not sure that the "garden city" label was ever fully justified, except perhaps in a few localities which are probably in good shape even now. The Malleshwaram pipe line extension, Sriramapuram, Kalasi Palyam, Russel Market, etc., were pretty bad even half a century ago when I used to walk or cycle in those areas. The open sewer line crossing Link road is as noxious as it ever was. Of course the explosion in population and the increase in density makes matters a lot worse.

Ram Prasad said...

Dear Nidhi
Shri Ramakanth's untiring zeal is really commendable. Hope is not fighting a loosing battle. I feel that it boils down to the least common denominator: the individual perpetrator. Education is paramount. Filth and ugliness in the environment seems to be taken for granted. Teaching kids in school is great step.
In fact they should have schools adopt a community they serve and have the kids do the cleaning and educating folks that live there. I am sure I am not stating something revolutionary but putting this in practice and taking action must be the big stumbling block.
Hats off to people like Shri Ramakanth. We need to clone him and have thousands like him help clean up India.....that will be the day!!