Rajasthan’s sarpanch initiates ‘garbage free marriage functions’ campaign

Garnering fame as ‘Hockey Wali Sarpanch’, Neeru Yadav, the Sarpach of Lambi Ahir village in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu, is attracting eyeballs for her novel initiative: to reduce the food waste in the marriages.

In her recent initiative, she has started a unique campaign in her village called ‘Garbage Free Marriage Functions’ under which she provides free steel utensils for cooking and serving for any marriage function or other social gatherings.

In addition, she has also created a team that collects the food waste and converts it into manure for selling on piecemeal rates to farmers. The purpose is to reduce the garbage of disposables, plastics, bottles for keeping the village clean and utilizing the natural resources at its best and recycling the food waste.

Neeru says, “Food waste is the biggest problem in our country. It badly affects the environment, social living and the economy. The gap between the food produced and consumed is due to food waste and poor management. I noticed this in our village, especially during marriage functions and other social gatherings. Our volunteer women’s team came up with a solution of providing steel utensils for cooking and serving in marriages and other social functions for free. The utensils are stored in a central place of the village so that anyone can book them for re-use.”

UNEP’s (United Nations Environment Programme) Food Waste Index Report 2021 reports food waste of one billion tonnes globally every year. As per this report, India ranks second in the world with food waste of 50 kilos per person per year after China. If we consider overall garbage, including food waste, the country is facing a massive waste management challenge. Over 377 million urban people live in 7,935 towns and cities and generate 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum.

Sarpanch Neeru Yadav’s initiative has made a small difference in the Lambi Ahir village.

“If the same campaign gets replicated in the whole state or the country and the whole world, one can assume the change this idea can bring,” she says with a confident smile.

Neeru Yadav is the first young Sarpanch of Lambi Ahir. Local residents have started calling her ‘Hockey Wali Sarpanch’ from the day she created a Women Hockey Team. She donated her salary and created a fund for arranging a dedicated playground, hockey kits, uniforms and a hockey coach in her village. She keeps motivating these girl players by arranging the inter-city and inter-state hockey competitions. Empowering the girl hockey players, Neeru Yadav has set an example for the other women of the village to come out of social clutters and do something extraordinary.

Yadav also has lent her support in the education and skill development of the village girls. She has also trained 10 girls under the PMKVY Scheme and helped to get job placements for all these girls in MNCs. Following this successful project, around 15 more girls have joined Neeru Yadav for skill development training and soon a new batch will get started.




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