Say ‘No’ to disposable waste, in Jhanwars style
FPJ Indore Cartoonist

Neemuch:

He is just XII pass, but knew the harmful effects of single use plastic way back. Meet Bharat Kumar Jhanwar and his management graduate son Santosh Jhanwar who are on a Swachh Bharat Abhiyan since 2014, in their own little way. Father-son duo is on a mission to make their village – a disposable free village.

Santosh and Bharat, natives of small Manasa village in Neemuch district had set-up an environment-friendly organisation Paryavaran Mitra Sansthan in 2014, an organisation that lends steel utensils during social gatherings like marriages and religious functions in the town at meager charges just to prevent disposable use in the village.

Santosh who owns a gas agency in the town claimed that the sole motive behind lending utensils during social gatherings is not only to reduce the use of disposables but to reduce non-degradable plastic waste as well and support the national cause.

Currently, Paryavaran Mitra Sansthan in cooperation with Jhanwar family owns more than 2,700 utensils and they lend them to people at a meager charge – set of seven utensils at Re 1, which means if a person needs 100 sets, he/she only has to pay Rs 100, which is roughly one fifth of the expense which he/she would have to spend on disposable items or renting utensils from other places. Set includes one plate, three bowls, one glass, 1 tea glass and 1 spoon.

Narrating how it all started about five years back Santosh said that way back he studied the harmful effect of serving a hot meal in plastic plates and bowls. If that was not enough the quality of material which is being used for making disposable items is not fit for health as well as the environment.

Moreover, it is very common to see people dump disposable items at public places, instead of following the proper measures. After witnessing this, Santosh went to the village and interacted with the locals.

As charity begins at home, he first convinced his father Bharat to be the part of his noble cause. Duo had first decided to carry their own utensils whenever they visited any function so that they could have their meal in it. Initially, people felt awkward as they felt that Santosh and his father might be insulting them by refusing to take a meal in a disposable plate which they offered. But after they explained the actual reason behind their move, people started welcoming their decision. Santosh and his father are still following the same rule.

Later, the duo decided to purchase utensils from their own pocket after they saw that their move was enough to bring change in society.

They purchased set of 750 utensils (each set comprised of one plate, three bowls, one glass, one tea glass and one spoon) in memory of Chandbai Harivallabh Jhanwar, mother of Bharat Kumar Jhanwar and handed them over to the Paryavaran Mitra Sansthan so that people could use this.

Santosh is tirelessly working to further the cause of cleanliness in the village. The disposable free village crusader revealing further course of action said that still many families are using disposable items and their next target is to educate them about the harmful effect of plastic and encourage them to stop the use of plastic. Taking inspiration from her grandfather and father, 10-year-old Pranika Jhanwar vowed that she never accept food either served or packed in single used plastic commonly known as disposable items. Pranika who is fond of ice-cream said that now onwards she will take ice cream either in paper cup or in a wafer cone.

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