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CYOB – Carry your own Bottle | Carry your own Bag: An Effort to make Bhopal Plastic-free

B Vijay Dutta
10/10/19
There is an ambitious effort by Government of India to phase out single-use plastics by 2022. Keeping this aim in mind, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation is on a mission to reduce the plastic waste in the city. For this an initiative #CYOB-Carry Your Own Bag | Carry Your Bottle has been launched focusing on the principles of 4Rs – Recycle, Reduce, Reuse and Redistribution keeping in mind the ease of adaptability and sustainability by the citizens.Current ScenarioPlastic bags are very convenient for carrying any purchased items and have become such an integral part of our lives that we don’t even give a thought about their production and disposal. Similarly plastic bottles contain Bisphenol A (BPA), the chemical used to make the plastic hard and clear. BPA is an endocrine disruptor which has been proven to be hazardous to human health. It has been strongly linked to a host of health problems including certain types of cancer, neurological difficulties, early puberty in girls, reduced fertility in women, premature labour, and defects in newborn babies – to name a few examples. Globally there is a conscious effort on minimizing the usage of plastic (polythene bags and plastic bottles ESP.).Decomposition of plastic takes hundreds of years and is a very difficult and complex process. Around the world only 8% plastic is being recycled.In fact, it is estimated that up to 10 million plastic bags are used every minute around the world.It is estimated that plastic waste generated for year 2016-17 in MP was 50457.07 TPA (Tons per Annum).According to a survey out of every 100 cows, 70 cows are dying due to the consumption of polythene bags.According to BMC on an average, one person uses 5 to 6 kg polythene bags in a month. About ‘Carry Your Own Bag | Carry Your Bottle’ Bhopal Municipal Corporation is committed on stopping the use of non-standard, single use (use & throw) polythene & cutlery and plastic bags & bottles. Already ‘Spot Fine’ campaign is going on in order to curb the usage of plastic in the city. All Government offices have been declared ‘Single-Use’ plastic free. However for creating even greater awareness and bringing about a behavioral change in the mindsets of the city people CYOB program has been initiated. This is a step forward to provide sustainable solutions to the problems damaging the ecosystem.  Features of the #CYOB program#CYOB is a city-wide program covering all the areas of Bhopal City.Under Carry your own Bottle initiative, citizens are required to carry their own water bottles at all times instead of buying plastic bottled water. There are various types of BPA free bottles that citizens can carry such as copper bottles, stainless steel bottles, glass bottles, hot & cool thermoflasks etc.Carrying a water bottle at all times will not only benefit the environment but will also ensure health benefits as the person will remember to drink water regularly. The idea is to provide minimize the consumption of plastic bottles and the litter created by throwing them anywhere.Under Carry your own Bag initiative, citizens are encouraged to carry a cloth bag or an eco-friendly bags with them at all times so as to stop the usage of plastic bags when purchasing products. BMC has started centres for making eco-friendly bags. At present these centres have been setup at New market, Gulmohar Colony, Ashima Mall at Hoshangabad Road and 10 No. Market. Tailors have also been made available at these centres. At the centres, citizens can bring their old clothes and tailors make eco-friendly, reusable cloth bags free of cost and give it to the citizens. Various organisations like MahaShakti Seva Kendra are also going door to door for old clothes collection. The idea is to provide maximum cloth bags to the citizens of Bhopal.BMC also aims to create awareness by sending its people to residential areas, various commercial areas, sabji-mandis, and other important areas to sensitize people about the problems of plastic and to motivate and encourage citizens to use eco-friendly alternatives. Inputs have been invited from various community organisations and environmentalists to forge a common declaration regarding a host of environmental challenges. Public and Private sectors, students, self-help groups & NGOs have been encouraged to find affordable and eco-friendly alternatives to the plastic waste problem (esp. for single use plastic products) to phase them out completely.Other Initiatives for Plastic Free Bhopal Bhopal municipal corporation (BMC) has been pro-actively working towards reduction of plastic usage within the city of Bhopal since a long time now. We have made numerous strides to sensitize people on and have also rolled out many initiatives and are in process of rolling many more initiatives focused on reduction of plastic usage. Some of them are:  “No to Plastic” Campaign has been recently rolled out which is focused on elimination of Single Use Plastic from the entire city. Innovative banners have been installed across the city, promotional videos and jingles have been made to sensitize people on elimination of single use plastic. “Haath Badhao Sheher Swachh Banao” event has been planned for 21-Sep-19 where we will do a mass cleanliness drive across the city at 150 locations in collaboration with local schools, colleges, other Govt. departments, NGO’s, RWA’s. We have initiated a cleanliness ranking amongst local RWA’s, Schools, Hotels in the city to promote cleanliness  No Plastic Express: A vehicle/bus shall visit all the govt. schools, other relevant institutions as per predefined and well communicated schedule covering all the schools with Government schools as primary target. Idea is that students will collect and bring plastic waste at designated venues/schools where vehicle would visit and students shall also pledge to work towards plastic reduction by signing a petition. Based upon whatever waste is brought to the collection centres, we would provide 2X to 3X times the value of waste offered in the form of stationery products, payment vouchers, etc. Market price of 1 kg plastic is app. 10INR (We have collaborated with a startup named ‘Kabadiwala’ which is incubated by us to buy plastic waste from us). The remaining portion will be matched by BMC as our contribution to promote reduction of plastic. Hence, if a student is able to collect 2 kgs of plastic waste. He/she could earn 40-60INR in return. Based upon the above mentioned facts. This could also be a regular drive. 3 Bartan Banks have been setup in the city which provide utensils on rent for public and personal events to promote reduction of plastic usage. Rigorous campaigning for waste segregation and reduction of plastic waste have been going on in the city since last 6 over all media platforms and physical branding on roads We are in process of launching a “Bag bank” at New Market and other market areas where people could rent out bags for a nominal charge  Plastic free iztima (A weekly market) is organized in the old city areas of Bhopal by BMC  Bhopal Municipal Corporation has launched a 20-feet floating bottle in the capital's Lake, which aims to convey a message of cleanliness to the residents. 
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RFID Card and QR code based Household-level Multipurpose Tracking System (RHoMuTS)

Transparency and efficiency through extensive use of technology has become the fundamental principle of all reforms in the governance today. Though financial sphere of governance has been transforming very rapidly throughout the country, basic administrative aspects and office procedures, being much more complicated, perhaps have taken a back seat.Considering this situation, Dhule district administration along with all line departments have taken many e-governance initiatives in last one year. Their implementation is helping not just citizens but also District Collector and all concerned officers to ensure above mentioned basic principles of democratic administration. These initiatives can be replicated in every district as they are, with some cosmetic changes. One of these initiatives is 'RFID Card and QR code based Household-level Multipurpose Tracking System (RHoMuTS)'.This system envisions rigidly fixing an geotagged RFID card having a QR code on inner side of main door of each household within the jurisdiction of the Local Body. The copy of this QR Code is stuck also on the two dustbins (Wet and Dry waste dustbins as available) of each household. After this, the database with sufficient details for each household is created through the software with reference to the geotagged RFID card. The staff of Sanitation Department (Drivers of Ghantaagaadi), Taxation Department (Bill Collector, Bill Inspectors, Property Surveyors etc.), Health Department (ANM, Asha etc.) and any other department are given mobiles/tabs that can read QR codes or RFID cards (these are available at a cost of less than Rs. 5000 today). By creating suitable online/offline survey formats as prescribed by the government, the facility for which has been readily provided in the software, any activity like door-to-door waste collection, 100% coverage of properties for taxation, 100% survey of all households for various health parameters like vaccinations and all mother-child development services can be perfectly tracked using Google Maps. One can see a suitably indexed Google map to find out left-out beneficiaries of any survey. This is indeed a revolutionary solution to assess and find out gaps in the delivery system.This has been implemented at all five urban bodies of Dhule district. Dondaicha (around 50 thousand population), Shirpur (around 80 thousand population) and Sakri (around 25 thousand population) Municipal Councils are already at advanced stages of its execution in very small time. Dhule Municipal Corporation (around 4 lakh population) and Shindkheda (around 25 thousand population) Municipal Council have also started its execution. This has been achieved at a very low cost using funds of 14th Finance Commission as per the rules of Government of Maharashtra.
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Online Raashtriya Baal Swaasthya Kaaryakram (RBSK)

Transparency and efficiency through extensive use of technology has become the fundamental principle of all reforms in the governance today. Though financial sphere of governance has been transforming very rapidly throughout the country, basic administrative aspects and office procedures, being much more complicated, perhaps have taken a back seat.Considering this situation, Dhule district administration along with all line departments have taken many e-governance initiatives in last one year. Their implementation is helping not just citizens but also District Collector and all concerned officers to ensure above mentioned basic principles of democratic administration. These can be replicated in every district as they are, with some cosmetic changes. One of these initiatives is to make Rashtriya Baal Swaashthya Kaaryakram (RBSK) paperless.RBSK is a flagship program of the Government of India. Under this program, all children between age of 6 months to 14 years are thoroughly checked by a contractual team of doctors every year in each Anganwadi and School. There is a prescribed inspection form that is filled after check-up of each child. Based on this form, every child, who needs any kind of treatment, including surgical interventions of any kind, is appropriately referred and treated as per the standards of the scheme. As per the guidelines of the scheme, every contractual team of doctors has been provided with one Pharmacists, ANMs and a dedicated vehicle also along with medicines. But at most places, the whole scheme has remained on paper with fudged data. As we all are aware of the true nourishment status of children on ground, it is clear that generations are being prevented from realising their true potential due to flawed implementation of this scheme.To address this, RBSK Coordination Committee of Dhule district developed a GPS-enabled end-to-end online mobile app and made this whole scheme paperless. Whenever a team of doctor uploads the data in the format of the scheme from his/her mobile, the app also picks the GPS coordinates of the mobile at that moment. The app also makes it mandatory to click at least one photo or multiple photos of the child through the app itself as per the requirements of the diagnosis. Even if there is some problem of the mobile network, the app can work offline also and upload the data whenever the team comes in the mobile network range. The app has been designed in such a way that data of a child can be filled in less than two minutes.The whole reporting of the scheme has now been made online. Even the referral services have been integrated in the app as per the requirements of the scheme. Separately customized real-time dashboard is given on the mobiles of all concerned senior officers. The app is creating medical history of more than 3 lakh children of Dhule district. It can also track movement of children from Anganwadi to Schools using name and Aadhar number. This helps to find school dropouts also without any error. The app was launched on October 1, 2018 by Hon. Mr. Pradeep Vyas, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Government of Maharashtra at Mumbai in his office. This app has been developed and is being used without any cost due to philanthropic interests of the software developing company. The company is ready to implement it free of cost in any district. After this successful proof of concept at Dhule district, it can be easily launched in all districts and at State level also.
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Democracy at Doorsteps - Online Integrated Letters and Files Tracking System

Transparency and efficiency through extensive use of technology has become the fundamental principle of all reforms in the governance today. Though financial sphere of governance has been transforming very rapidly throughout the country, basic administrative aspects and office procedures, being much more complicated, perhaps have taken a back seat.Considering this situation, Dhule district administration along with all line departments have taken many e-governance initiatives in last one year. Their implementation has been helping not just citizens but also District Collector and all concerned officers to ensure above mentioned basic principles of democratic administration. These initiatives can be replicated in every district as they are, with some cosmetic changes. One of the most important among them is 'Democracy at Doorsteps'!We all know that all government offices receive and generate numerous letters and files everyday. Despite trying really hard, officers fail to keep track of every letter and file. Generally, officers remember them only when any incident related to the subject matter of that letter and file occurs. Various versions of Letter-tracking and File-tracking softwares are already implemented in many government offices to address this. But we also see that these two softwares work in isolation wherever they are implemented. To ensure complete accountability from all stakeholders, these two softwares need to be integrated. This is the only way by which journey of a letter from Inward section till disposal of the corresponding file can be tracked. As per the recommended procedure manuals of government, it is a very complex logic. But this process has been thoroughly implemented through a suitable software at Dhule Collector office. The design and structure of the software was thoroughly discussed with whole staff of Collector office multiple times and their all queries and special requirements have been integrated. The SDO office and Tahsildar office can also be integrated in this software as independent offices and this process is currently going on at District Dhule.It has not only caused Business Process Re-engineering and complete clarity in job-description of each staff, but has also enabled each officer and staff to monitor delays and generate customized alerts of all kinds related to letters and files. Augmented with advanced search facility, anyone in the hierarchy can check pendency of letters and files with anyone subordinate to him/her through real-time dashboards. This has also ensured automatic naming of files, as per the guidelines, with some creative innovations as per the changed times now.The biggest advantage of this software, and from where its name is derived, is that it is open to public in restricted manner. A person can track his/her letter (and not anyone else's letter) from anywhere through this website till it is disposed through a file or in any manner. For this, the person needs to use the unique inward serial number and a unique PIN number issued to him while accepting the letter at Inward section. He can also download the scanned copy of the letter or order that has been issued in response to his letter. Not just this, the applicant can even download the scanned copy of the note-sheet of his file, though this particular facility can be restricted as per the convenience of the Head of the Office. Also, record room has been integrated with this software to track file transactions related to it. The software generates all reports of all kinds, including Await-reports related to letters and file movements for every officer and staff.Sponsored from the Setu Committee funds that are controlled by District Collector in Maharashtra, the software was launched on December 26, 2018 by Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra at Dhule. But with loads of customization, the software has been operationalized from July 15, 2019 and is functioning extremely satisfactorily since then. Any government office can use this software to ensure that no grievance received is left unresolved. 
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5 years of Satya Bharti Abhiyan – The Rural Sanitation Initiative

The joy of owning a small house of her own was short-lived for Paramjeet Kaur when she discovered that her house had no toilet. Paramjeet experience unimagined embarrassment and great discomfort in having to travel long distances to defecate. Her children began to fall sick quite often due to open defecation adding to the strain on house finances. However, Paramjeet’s struggles soon came to an end when Bharti Foundation constructed an individual toilet in her house. This positive change transformed her life completely. With more time at her hands, Paramjeet started working part-time at a factory to add to the family income. Today, she is happy to contribute to the family income. Paramjeet is one among 1,75000 beneficiaries of Bharti Foundation’s Satya Bharti Abhiyan program. Launched in year 2014, the program has completed 5 years is of the most successful sanitation initiative by Bharti foundation delivering a dignified sense of identity and healthy way of living for the locals in Punjab. Under Satya Bharti Abhiyan, approx. 23,400 toilets have been constructed and handed over free-of-cost to individual households across 1230 villages and 11 urban local bodies in Ludhiana and rural Amritsar District benefitting over 1,00,000 beneficiaries. In particular, women and children have benefited from the program as they are no longer forced to relieve themselves in the open. In addition to rural household sanitation, separate toilets for girls have also been constructed by Bharti Foundation in 14 Government schools in rural Ludhiana. The program currently benefits over 1,75,000 individuals across the two Districts and in less than two years enabled Ludhiana District (Rural) to achieve self-declared Open Defecation Free status.  Recently, the Foundation responded to a request from Ludhiana Police Commissionerate, and constructed 37 separate ladies’ toilets in police stations, posts and offices that did not have a separate toilet for women Ms. Mamta Saikia, CEO, Bharti Foundation said “We are proud to have contributed in our way to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission and improving the quality of life of our fellow citizens. However, the biggest driver of this successful intervention has been the participation of the local communities in helping spread the message of sanitation. The achievement of Satya Bharti Abhiyan have today set a shining example for others to follow and I thank the State Government and the local administration for their valuable support and encouragement.” Apart from providing sanitation facilities, the Foundation is also focused on bringing about behavioral change through various ongoing sanitation campaigns across states in India. Through these awareness campaigns, students of Satya Bharti Schools have inspired their parents to build more than 3500 toilets at home, and have worked as agents of change to bring awareness amongst the communities they live in. Last October the Foundation mobilized more than 1,00,000 students, teachers and local community members, to take the “Cleanliness Pledge” across 11 states of India 
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NTPC’s Girl Empowerment Mission campaign reached out to about 2000 girl students this year

India’s largest power generating company, NTPC, to improve the lives of women and the girl child in the country, selected about 2000 students in the second year of its flagship Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM) program under its CSR initiatives. As part of this noble initiative, NTPC enrolled girl students, between the age groups of 10-12 years, from 20 locations across the country that are in proximity to NTPC power stations that include Dadri, Koldam, Farakka, Kahalgaon, Talcher-Kaniha, Auraiya, Singrauli, Unchahar, Anta, Vindhyachal, Simhadri, Korba, Sipat, Kayamkulam, Ramagundam ant others. This GEM program (4-week residential workshop) was launched on May 20, 2018, wherein almost 400 girl students participated from various schools of the vicinity of NTPC’s 03 power stations of Vindhyachal, Singrauli and Rihand (VSR) region, making the program a grand success. Out of these, 30 girls (10 from each location) have been selected and given admission in the schools running in respective NTPC Township. In addition to this, the total expenditure on education of these selected girls are also borne by NTPC.It was significant that a remarkable improvement has been witnessed in the girl students (participants of GEM workshop), the GEM participants, through periodical follow-up/ interventions, are now being continuously monitored by NTPC with an objective to improve their academic performance. The monthly/ quarterly progress of the students is also being tracked by NTPC, in consultation with the respective schools where they are studying. After the successful completion of the pilot project and overwhelming response by local villagers, NTPC Ltd replicated the GEM program 2019 across the 20 selected locations in the country. This project focused on providing various opportunities to uplift the girls from these remote areas, introducing developmental interventions that enabled them to be more self-reliant and confident. While ensuring social equality for girls, the program aimed to nurture students, in the age bracket of 10-12 years, for coming years.The course content for the program includes the basic academics i.e. subjects like English, Maths, Hindi, Environment Sciences (EVS), and Computers. In addition to this, training is also imparted in other aspects of life and social skills that include apprising them on hygiene, sanitation, effective communication and inter-personal relationships, gender diversity issues, to name a few. The extra academic activities that are a part of the course gave the participants exposure to arts and crafts (drawing, painting, craft works, etc.), dance, drama, instrumental & vocal music. Also, compulsory self-defence workshops and yoga training have been planned during 04-week long workshop to teach the techniques to protect themselves. Recently, a week long Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM) winter workshop was held from October 7th to October 13, 2019 in NTPC Talcher Kaniha. The workshop was organized as a follow-up program to the Summer Workshop held earlier this year. 108 girls from nearby villages, schools participated in the workshop which was aimed at maintaining continuity in their learning process. 
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