Over the last five years, WOW (Women of Wisdom) run by women from ward number 177, in J.P. Nagar, Jayanagar constituency, has been constantly trying to make the popular South Bengaluru locality a zero-waste producing area. Though the women are still not anywhere close to reaching their goal, the group hopes to get there very soon.
The women who run the group started composting wet waste generated at their own kitchens, which slowly turned into a norm for their entire lane, and now the entire ward following them. The women in the group also educate families in the neighborhood on why it is important to cut down on the usage of single-use plastic and paper. Members of WOW say that constant education and guidance in the neigbourdhood has reduced the number of black spots too in the area.
Building a relationship
Shwetha Urs, Secretary of WOW and a resident of Jayanagar constituency, says it is important to educate the neighborhood and build a relationship with the BBMP to have a zero-waste generating community.
“We started WOW as a group in our street, now we have women from the entire ward who actively participate in the initiative. Our aim is to make Jayanagar a zero waste generating constituency. When we started the group we began educating our neighbours on the importance of waste segregation. We even went along with the waste collectors to every household in the ward and educated them on the various catergories of waste and segregation. However, what is more important is to educate the neighbourhood to build a friendly correlation with the BBMP.”
“We make sure that everyone in our neighbourhood knows the names of the pourakrmikas and tipper drivers, who clean our streets and collect waste from our household every day,” she says. “When we notice black spots in our neighbourhood, we do not just raise a complaint with the BBMP but also discuss with them on the ways in which we can help the civic body work. A healthy relationship with the BBMP has helped make our ward cleaner and sustainable.”
Ms. Urs also emphasised the importance of having plate banks in the neigbourhoods. “In our ward we have tried our best to cutdown on the usage of single use plastic and paper utensils at events and family gatherings, as they contribute highly to black spots in the area. We have a plate bank in the ward where anyone who is hosting a gathering, or an event can borrow steel plates from us, we encourage them to get their own water bottles”. Women from WOW not just follow these sustainability methods at their ward, but also help groups from different wards and areas to initiate this in their localities.