In a novel way to teach children about civic, environmental and hygiene issues in city schools, the Warangal Municipal Corp-oration (WMC) commissio-ner (WMC) Vivek Yadav has launched an experime-ntal project called ‘visit a school programme’, wherein he makes it a point to address school children of a school each day.
Said to be a brainchild of Dr B. Janardhan Reddy, director of municipal administration, the programme with children has raised curiosity as it is the first time an IAS ranked officer is making daily rounds of city schools to interact with children on issues ranging personal hygiene, sapling plantation, garbage disposal and other sanitation aspects.
Since its launch on Aug-ust 1, the WMC program-me plans to reach out to city students of 127 major private and government schools by September 17. Every day, the WMC officials cover four city scho-ols under ‘visit a school programme’ including one where WMC commissioner Mr Vivek Yadav makes a personal appearance.
The lectures during these visits not only motivate the students on the need to conserve environment but also make them aware of their civic duties and quality of personal hygiene.
“For example, we are emphasising on the need to wash one’s hands before taking meals and after toilet use. The World Health Organisation (WHO) blames it for spreading 40 per cent of communicable diseases,” says WMC additional commissioner Sha-hid Masood, who expre-ssed hope that their latest drive would make the children better citizens.
After lectures on issues like how and why to separate biodegradable wastes from non-biodegradable wastes at home and need to stop open defecation etc., the programme concludes with a Harita Mitra, a sapling plantation programme on the school’s premises with promise to monitor their survival.
However, despite its lau-dable approach in reaching out to children on different issues, observers cite a few lessons for WMC as well. They include imm-ediate steps to make commercial use of both the segregated bio-degradable and non-biodegradable wastes.
Presently, the WMC has not come out with any workable mechanism to convert either tonnes of bio-degradable waste into manure or non-biodegradable material as fit for recycling. There is not even clearly marked green and non-green dustbin in localities nor do garbage rickshaws have segregated compartments to collect bio-degradable and non-bio wastes separately.
This despite the fact the official caller tune in all phone numbers allotted to WMC staff has an automated message saying garbage is not really garbage (Chetta, Chetta kadu…) when one calls. The WMC is also grappling to get a sewerage treatment plant. Presently, all municipal domestic sewage waters from the city is polluting Nagaram water tank in Hasanparthy.