This Is How IAS Officer Anindita Mitra Is Transforming Chandigarh
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 27 Nov 2023, 4:00 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
- IAS officer Anindita Mitra has been continuously striving to make Chandigarh a zero-wastage city.
- Standing by the principles of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling, the officer initiated several projects in the city to look after the same.
- Through her initiative, she is also providing support to communities by involving them in self-help groups.
In a commendable effort to foster sustainability and empower local communities, IAS officer Anindita Mitra, is making Chandigarh a much greener, cleaner and environment-friendly city. Currently serving as the Municipal Commissioner of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, she has spearheaded several groundbreaking projects centred around the principles of reusing and recycling.
Indian Masterminds exclusively spoke with the officer to know more about her interesting initiatives.
In the last one year, the officer has launched multiple projects. Under the ‘Bartan Bhandar’ project, the officer collaborated with the National Urban Livelihood Mission to establish a self-help group. This self-help group was provided with utensils that could be further given on rent to the events and functions taking place in the city. This was done to avoid the usage of plastic in the region.
“We did this with the motto of minimalizing the usage of plastic plates, glasses, and other utensils during small events or functions taking place in the city. The utensils are given on rent at such events and once the event finishes, we get them back. This has helped us in significantly reducing the use of plastic and its wastage,” she told Indian Masterminds.
The officer launched a special vehicle by the name of ‘Swachh Sawari’ which is deployed to collect old household items such old clothes from household to household. The clothes are then transferred to a designated self-help group in their unit named ‘Naya Sa’. The group analyses the clothes, launders them, takes care of any kind of stitching or repairing required in them, and further sells the almost-new looking clothes.
“The price range of the refurbished clothes is anywhere between rupee 1-50. Anybody can walk in the store and purchase the item at such a nominal rate. This has been beneficial in recycling the clothes which are no more worn by people and saves it from landing up in dumping grounds,” shared Ms. Mitra.
Furthermore, the officer initiated a project ‘Arpan’ to collect floral waste from all the holy places as well as florists and transferred to another self-help group. This SHG is properly trained by trainers from institutes in Delhi and Mumbai in manufacturing diya, battis, and agarbattis from this waste.
“The project is named Arpan as we ultimately Arpan the agarbattis and diyas to the lord himself,” she shared.
Under Project Prarambh, a large shop is opened up by the Municipal Corporation in which all the recycled and refurbished items manufactured by the different SHGs are showcased and put up for sale. Cloth bags, dusting clothes, mops, etc. made out of irreparable clothes are amongst the few things which is sold in the store.
“We even use these for our use in the government offices. Moreover, we keep compostable bags there too, that look like and do the work of a plastic bag but are not really plastic. Prarambh is like a one-stop shop for people to come and buy all varieties of recycled goods from,” shared Ms. Mitra.
The officer initiated the launch of a permanent store that goes by the name RRR (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) under the ‘Meri Life, Mera Swachh Shehar’ campaign. Old goods and articles are collected from the public and delivered to various RRR centres in the city. City residents can donate household articles at these centres with the help of Swach Sawari vehicles.
The corporation then opens a one-day ‘rupee store’ in any vulnerable location of the city where the items are made available to all the people of the area who could give 1 rupee per item against one Adhaar card and pick any five items of their choice from the store.
“The discarded items are then restored and sold at nominal rates to the needy with an aim to ensure household items in good condition do not go waste. Only quality and useable items are accepted for donation, including clothes, shoes, books/stationery, plastic items, crockery, toys, e-waste, etc,” the officer shared with Indian Masterminds.
IAS Officer Anindita Mitra’s visionary leadership has brought about a positive and sustainable transformation in Chandigarh. Through these innovative initiatives, she has not only minimized environmental impact but also generated employment opportunities for numerous individuals involved in the self-help groups. As other cities seek inspiration for sustainable development, Ms. Mitra’s efforts stand as a shining example of effective and community-driven change.
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