Waste generation is an inevitable consequence of human activity. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increasing amount of bio medical waste (BMW) accumulation across the world. The handling and disposal of these wastes are a major concern due to the various health hazards associated with it. It is the social responsibility of all citizens to ensure the proper management of BMW as it is a step towards sustainable development. There are various judicial guidelines and legislations that detail the procedure for the disposal of these wastes. BMW has proven to be a menace during many instances and especially at present handling of BMW exists as one of the greatest challenges before the authorities across the world.
Even before the pandemic struck, waste management has also posed a huge threat to environment. The increasing number of high-rise apartments in cities are seen as signs of development, but the silent factor of waste handling is something that needs to be analysed.
The major legislations dealing with waste management in India include The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001, The E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, The Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, 2008 and the Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.
The Indian Constitution aims at conserving the environment and the same has been introduced in its principles. Article 51A(g) places a fundamental duty on all citizens to conserve the environment. Improper waste management is detrimental to the environment as it leads to issues such as pollution and unsanitary living conditions. Moreover, when medical waste is considered, improper management can be a source to the spread of infections and diseases among the healthy population. In the case of Sachidanada Pandey v State of West Bengal, the importance of upholding the provisions of Article 51-A(g) was highlighted. Also, Article 48, a Directive Principle of State Policy, places on the State the responsibility to improve the environment. In furtherance of the same, with respect to the fundamental rights, in view of Article 21, each citizen has the right to life. The case of Subhash Kumar v State of Bihar held that every person has the right to a clean environment under the ambit of Article 21. An environment that is littered with waste and doe not manage the waste that it generates is unsanitary, unhygienic and is against the ideals of the Constitution.
The increasing industrial growth though is a boost for the country’s economy has negative effects on the environment. Protection of the environment cannot be the cost of industrial development. Proper waste management is necessary for a clean environment. Every housing society, or apartments and individual houses must come up with a way to manage the waste generated. The policy of 3 Rs (Recycle-Reuse-Reduce) should be followed. The first step towards proper management is segregation. Simple segregation such as wet waste and dry waste or bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable can be practiced. A small step goes a long way. Especially in times like these, where wearing a mask is a necessity let us take it up to ourselves not to litter, rather find more green alternatives and protect our environment.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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