2023

Sensitisation on sound waste management practices for JCOs and NCOs

Three very young and very much welcome visitors to the Waste Management Unit! (Pardon the hyperbole)

“Child is father of the man” is an idiom originating from a poem of Wordsworth. There are many different interpretations of the phrase, the most popular of which is that adults are the product of habits and behaviour developed when young.

Four Years have rolled by since the Waste Management Facility became operational on this very day in 2019, as a Public-Private Partnership between the Coonoor Municipality and this organisation.

We take this opportunity to thank all eleemosynary gestures from corporates, philanthropies, individual donors, the scores of selfless volunteers, the officials concerned, and the media, for having been a part of the growth, which has led to what initially started as an amateurish effort into an professional enterprise which tackles with about 12 tonnes of waste generated and collected on a daily basis from within and outside the town.

It would be a great injustice if the special role of our own workers is not mentioned, who have oftentimes gone beyond the call of duty, to accomplish tasks and to meet deadlines. Even as we write a few of them are still labouring on some spillover task. We are proud and happy to have eaten their bread and salt, and drunk their water and wine.

Having achieved the twin goals of 100% waste handling and a recyclables recovery rate of >70%, we hope to focus on sustainability issues hereinafter, and to also play a significant part in closing in the collection gap.

Honouring the tools of one’s trade, for, man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

‘So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean!’

Mahatma Ghandhi

Appears that there’s more than what meets the eye in this statement made by the Mahatma whose birth anniversary happens to fall on this day.

Perhaps the Great Soul who practised what he preached and was the torchbearer of cleanliness and sanitation, also meant unless we lead by example, we are never ever going to create the amount of awareness in the minds of others. It is pertinent to note that the ills of littering, dumping of waste, and other unsanitary practices, have multiplied severalfold and have become more dangerous, since Gandhi’s time.

It was with this in mind that the Pasteur Institute of India, Coonoor, decided to celebrate Swachh Bharat Diwas by holding a massive cleanup of a 13 km stretch of the Coonoor Ghat and a section of the heritage NMR Rigi-Line. In keeping with the spirit of collective efforts, the enterprise involved more than 400 volunteers including individuals from other sectors, both government and non governmental.

The results of the one hour exercise are an eye-opener. More than 3000 kg of waste littered along the ghats were picked up and transported to the local Waste Management Facility. A preliminary waste audit showed that a shocking ninety percent was plastic waste, and volumetrically, more than three quarters of the material picked up were just banned PETE Water Bottles.

Although bans sometimes felt as restrictive, are often instilled for the good of the people, they aren’t an end by themselves, and condemnation again doesn’t liberate, it oppresses.

Perhaps the need of the hour is behavioural change. Self Image is the key to human personality and human behaviour. Gandhiji’s principle of leading by example and setting an example, can change the self image and in-turn change personality and behaviour.

Planning session with the Director and Officials of Pasteur Institute of India – Coonoor, ahead of the mass cleanup drive to be conducted on 2 October along the entire stretch of the Coonoor Ghat.

A first of its kind, this conference jointly arranged by Keystone, KREA University, Nilgiri Natural History Society, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Clean Coonoor, Edhkwehlynawd Botanical Refuge, and Make Ooty Beautiful, aims to play a role in addressing the challenge of sustaining the bio-cultural diversity of the hills – the current year’s theme being, ‘Nilgiris, a Land in Flux.

The ultimate goal is to create platforms for meaningful dialogue and exchange between various stakeholders and domain experts on the past, present and future prospects of the hills. This process is to be initiated through conferences and public engagement via an annual series. 

“Doing what we can, with what we have, where we stand”

Independence Day Wishes from Team Clean Coonoor

The works at the Hanni-kallu marsh which was jointly taken up for rejuvenation by Army SHQ-Wellington and Clean Coonoor on World Wetlands Day was completed as part of Mission Amrit Sarovar. But, as a not well known quote of Melville’s goes, “small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity,” the Hinduja Foundation will be taking over the project for further improvement.

Managing Trustee as the Guest of Honour at the tree planting activity conducted by Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana & Terapanth Mahila Mandal – Coonoor Chapter, at Shanthi Vijaya School.

Neither ‘talked at,’ nor ‘talked down to,’ but a true sharing of experiences between Clean Coonoor, NEPRA a Ahmedabad based Waste Management Concern, and Yara Fertilisers India Pvt. Ltd., facilitated by Marico Innovation Foundation.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ……who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The Rough Rider and Old Lion,
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

Honouring our gardeners, Tmt. Selvakumari and Tmt. Manjula, who were chiefly instrumental for bagging a trophy for the second time at the 125th Annual Flower Show. “audere est facere.”

“The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” A very perspicacious observation of FDR. Organic farming practices can reverse the damage that has already been done. The results of our compost, tried out by a local floriculturist, speaks for itself.

The theme of this year’s Women’s Day happens to be “Accelerating Equality & Empowerment,” focusing on how women’s leadership and collective action can make a difference. Quite appropriate that the Managing Trustee should be conferred with this award on the occasion.

In followup of the previous activity a much lengthier stretch of the river was cleaned, with additional help by NCC Cadets of 31 TN.

Army Station Headquarters – Wellington and Clean Coonoor jointly decided to restore this piece of degraded wetland under Mission Amrit Sarovar.

A cleanup of nearly a kilometre of the Coonoor River which flows through Wellington Cantt was jointly organised by the Madras Regimental Centre, Army Station Headquarters and the Cantt Board, as part of the Republic Day celebrations. Workers and volunteers from Clean Coonoor also participated/ Around 3 tonnes of non degradable waste was fished out and sent for safe disposal. This joint exercise reiterates the fact that a nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.

O garbage men,
the New Year greets you like the Old;
after this first run you too may rest
in beds like great warm aproned laps
and know that people everywhere have faith:
putting from them all things of this world,
they confidently bide your second coming.

To Waste Collectors & Handlers everywhere

Our Solid Waste Management Activities have safely disposed 12,000 metric tons of Municipal Solid Waste, a savings of 5900 tons of CO2 emissions equivalent as of April 2024

Read more details about the economic, legal, and environmental impacts as of April 2024