Several organisations and private institutions have come forward in Uttar Pradesh to deal with the problem of disposal of national flags as per rules.
The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and the La Martiniere Girls’ College are collecting the flags and will preserve the good ones and dispose of the damaged ones.
While IOCL’s drive will cover the entire state, La Martiniere Girls’ College in Lucknow will accept the flags at its doorstep, or one can parcel the flag.
According to IOCL, one can deposit flags at select 41 fuel stations across the state this week.
Sanjiv Kakkar, executive director & state head, Indian Oil, UPSO-1, told reporters: “We will preserve the good flags and dispose of the damaged ones as per the guidelines of the government. The IOCL staff in all five divisional offices under UPSO1, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Gorakhpur & Varanasi, will also voluntarily look for flags which are damaged or abandoned, collect them and deposit at the nearest regional office. BPCL and HPCL are also participating in the initiative.”
The Flag Code of India, 2002, mandates that when the flag is damaged or soiled, it shall be destroyed in private, preferably by burning or by any method consistent with the dignity of the flag.
The district administration in Lucknow has also announced that all government offices will accept flags.
Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) officials said that there is a code laid down for the proper disposal of the Indian national flag, one which many people are not aware of.
They said that even while choosing to burn or to bury it, a strict rule was to be followed.
This year, due to the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, a number of Tricolours have been distributed.
Additional municipal commissioner Abhay Pandey said: “The national flag code will be followed by the LMC for the proper disposal of flags. Every year several flags are left abandoned by residents and the LMC sanitation staff, cleaning the city did not have knowledge about how to segregate the national flag. Now, we have sensitised them about the importance of the national flag and the honour associated with it.
“We can only clean the area but we do not have rights to act against people showing disrespect to the Tricolour. Only the district administration and police have the power to act against those people.”
LMC officials said: “Most of our sanitation staff is illiterate. That is why there could have been instances of not following the due process in the past. But this time, on 75th Independence Day, the LMC has issued proper guidelines for burial of flags which are not fit for use and abandoned by residents. The flags must be buried with full honour.”