Assam: Environmentalists envisage 'zero waste village' near Chandubi lake

Guwahati: As ‘World Environment Day’ celebrations with the theme of ‘beat plastic pollution’ get underway, a village near the iconic Chandubi lake of Assam is being converted into a ‘zero waste village’ in a crucial step towards the preservation of environment in the vicinity.

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The initiative to transform Jaramkhuria village has been undertaken by Nature’s Orbit Collective Foundation, which works primarily against climate change, and Chandubi Jungle Camp in collaboration with India Tourism, Guwahati. Several organisations from various sectors, including EastMojo, are supporting this one-of-a-kind initiative.

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Talking to EastMojo, Debabrata Rajkumar, founder of Nature’s Orbit, says that they have created a zero waste hub initiative near the Chandubi Jungle Camp in Kamrup district “as the theme of this environment day is beat plastic pollution.”

“We have created a zero waste hub initiative. We have created a small waste resource centre where there are four banks: plastic bank, paper bank, metal bank, and glass bank. We also have an organic pit and a compost pit. That is what our initiative is all about: how to go zero waste, and how to minimize consumption,” says Rajkumar.

Coinciding with World Environment Day, on Sunday and Monday, several activities — yoga, a screening of the documentary ‘Footprints’, and a walk through the woods of Loharghat — are being organized to sensitise people about the environment.

Niloy Jyoti Talukdar, a member of the Guwahati Art Club and avid photographer, was part of a forest walk that was held on Sunday.

“I was glad to be a part of the forest walk that commenced at 5:30 in the morning. We discussed how we can portray the environment through responsible photography. We held discussions on several topics, and we all came to a consensus on one thing: that for every beautiful scenery we shoot, we will also snap a photograph showing garbage, plastics, and pollution,” he told EastMojo.

Handloom expert Abhijit Das, who was also a part of the proceedings, had a novel idea to curb plastic pollution, while promoting local artisans working with bamboo and other locally sourced materials.

“There are many artisans here who work with bamboo. We are trying to identify the art, and how we can uplift them, and provide them with access to a market where they can sell their wares. Since we use a lot of plastics nowadays, people should find handcrafted items available in their communities, cities, and states. Perhaps, people can replace the plastics with these handcrafted items,” he said.

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The idea behind these initiatives is to promote responsible tourism with zero waste, promote indigenous crafts and handlooms, promote local homestays, traditional food, and culture.

Several dignitaries, including Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli, were a part of the proceedings.

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