Ri-Bhoi district, 27 May, 2023

In line with its objective, Meghalaya Integrated Mountain Development Initiative (MIMDI), Shillong, the state chapter of the Integrated Mountain Initiative(IMI) organized The Himalayan Clean-up(THC),2023 at the Mawlingai village under Umsning Block in Ri-Bhoi District on the 27th May,2023 (Saturday) along with all the states in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) to conduct waste clean-up operations in rural, semi-urban and urban locations and to draw the attention of the general public, governmental agencies and traditional institutions to the perils of non-biodegradable waste especially plastic waste in our daily lives jeopardizing the environment and health of the people. The Clean-up saw the whole-hearted and enthusiastic participation of members of the Mawlingai Dorbar, the residents of the locality besides the office-bearers of MIMDI in cleaning up area by collecting solid waste including the single use plastics. The volunteers then conducted Waste and Brand auditing of the collected waste following the guidelines of GAIA in order to identify the major polluting brands attracting the provisions of the Extended Producer’s Responsibility (EPR) as laid down in the Solid Waste Management Rules,2016 amended in August,2021. The cleaning operation was preceded by a brief function wherein, the Headman of the Mawlingai Dorbar, Shri Lumlang Mawkdoh welcomed all the participants and volunteers to the Himalayan Clean-up,2023. He appreciated the initiative launched by MIMDI and for selecting Mawlingai village for this year’s Himalayan Clean-up. He requested all the residents to lend their helping hand towards the clean-up. Dr. Subhasish DasGupta, Secretary of MIMDI, while thanking the Dorbar Shnong for their permission to conduct the clean-up, outlined the objective of the Clean-up and rationale behind organizing the event all across the Indian Himalayan Region. He then went on to elaborate on the perils of plastic pollution by drawing the attention of the gathering to the increased habit of use and throw resulting in waste pile up in our surroundings. Dr. DasGupta urged the community to use this clean up as an opportunity to (i) reflect on our lifestyle, (ii) switch to a Zero waste lifestyle generating little waste and (iii) demand systemic changes from governmental agencies. He also referred to “Solutions to Plastic Pollution” being the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, notwithstanding the ban on single use plastic from 1st July,2022. He also explained the importance of waste and brand auditing of the collected waste. Shri Daniel Kharbangar of MIMDI read out the pledge towards a zero waste Himalayan region. Fifteen bamboo baskets (Khoh) were handed over to the village Dorbar for placement at various strategic locations in the village for use as garbage bins. The Secretary of the Dorbar, Shri Rishan Mawkdoh while proposing the vote of thanks lauded MIMDI and called for a greater awareness and behavioral change in tackling the menace of single-use plastic in our day-to-day life. He urged the residents of the locality to shun the use of plastic and help to keep the locality clean. Shri Daniel Kharbangar of MIMDI compered the inaugural event. The event saw participants collecting waste from the locality.

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