Developing Districts Wherever She Goes
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 15 Dec 2020, 9:23 am IST
- 4 minutes read
Ms Laya Madduri, the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, Assam, has changed the face of urban landscape of Silchar by streamlining solid waste management.Ms Laya Madduri, the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, Assam, has changed the face of urban landscape of Silchar by streamlining solid waste management.
- IAS officer Ms. Laya Madduri
Studying mechanical engineering at BITS Pilani (Rajasthan), Ms Laya Madduri would never have imagined the career path she was going to embark and its impact on socio-economic life of people of Silchar on the Indo-Bangladesh border. But, once she was posted in Cachar district, she cleaned up the entire town by effectively managing solid waste disposal system. In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, she described how she changed centuries-old practices.
SWATCHH SUNDAR SILCHAR
Ms. Madduri launched the Swatch Sundar Silchar scheme last year, where she introduced the solid-liquid resource management method. She trained volunteers who would do the collection of dry and wet waste from door-to-door separately, segregate it, and use scientific methods for its disposal. These volunteers were paid by the citizens through user charges.
She knew that the best way to dispose waste was to make use of it. Thus, fish market waste was used as feed in poultry and duck farms while vegetable waste was sent to cattle-farms. Organic wet waste was used for composting.
“We experimented with this procedure in six wards of Silchar before expanding it in the entire city. Extensive training was conducted for poor women and they were employed into the system. Silchar Municipal Board also actively supported the project” she told Indian Masterminds.
Various civil societies were engaged to help with a donation and voluntary participation. “We used to have evening discussions in different wards with the local citizen, explaining to them how to segregate the household waste. They were also told the consequences of mixing hazardous waste with commercial waste and that sensitization made people fall in line promptly. We received support from political leaderships also” she exclaimed. It was planned to form them into self-help groups and confederation by the time she was transferred from Silchar.
MILI JULI HIKU AHA
The Assamese phrase translates to “Let’s Learn Together” and Ms. Madduri popularized it to improve the quality of learning during early school days in Dibrugarh, her posting prior to Silchar.
The administration conducted a survey to assess the quality of learning and realized that it required improvement especially in terms of reading and writing skills. “We cannot focus on the individual child in school, so we conducted evening learning sessions which were integrated with the community”, she says.
Children of a locality gathered in a particular child’s home and did self- learning as per a time-table which consisted of multi-level education in the form of storytelling, ‘do while you learn’, and puppet shows, were made part of learning process.
“We took support of UNICEF volunteers who are usually graduates, and in return we gave them experience certificates for their work. We appointed a resource person who coordinated with the volunteers who in turn gathered children for the project” says Ms. Madduri.
Mothers accompanied the children to see first-hand progress of their children. Even children who were unwilling to go to school started joining these sessions to learn new things.
“We continued with the project for one year. We felt that community participation, enhanced the speed of learning in children. Earlier, they just watched TV doing nothing and now they were learning in their spare time” Ms. Madduri told Indian Masterminds.
CHOLO SHIKHI SATHE SATHE
Similar initiative was launched by Ms. Madduri in Silchar. Here it was called “Cholo Shikhi Sathe Sathe” meaning – ‘Let’s learn together’.
The quality of learning was improved through community gathering at a child’s home and learning through various fun activities, clubbed with educational sessions.
Ms. Madduri claims that her initiative did not require much financial implication as it only involved parents and children in their early grade learning level and focused on improving their quality of education.
AN AVID PAINTER
But what does Ms. Madduri do in her leisure time? She has a hid an artiste inside her. “I am not professional; my paintings are very amateurish. I do it to relax myself. It’s like meditation to me”, she told Indian Masterminds.
Lets hope she goes places and spread the ‘light’ wherever she goes from here.
END OF THE ARTICLE