Where there is tourism (and people), there is waste. The term ‘waste’ has its origins in the latin word ‘vastus’ which means unoccupied or uncultivated. And the problem with waste with the current mindset is that it just keeps on piling. There are few efforts that look at recycling waste. Mcleodganj or Upper Dharamshala is a small suburb of Dharamshala where the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered. This is also the place where the Dalai Lama resides. In the past two decades, this town has seen an exponential increase in number of tourists and it has been great for the local economy but the ecology has been affected for the worse.
Having lived in the area for the last couple of years, the problem is visibly increasing every day and same goes for many other popular tourist locations in India. Clean Upper Dharamshala Project is one effort which has been doing some remarkable work over the last two decades. Located on Bhagsu road, the CUD project was established in June 1994 when the local Tibetan Settlement Office initiated an innovative environmental programme to provide Upper Dharamsala with an efficient and environmentally friendly waste management system of rubbish collection and recycling. Tibet Relief Fund has supported this initiative for a number of years now through the sales of products from the Handmade Paper Recycling Workshop.
Here’s a small photo story so that you don’t miss out the effort when you’re in town:
Here’s a video made on the effort:
Since the start, the project has been working well and others like the Waste Warriors have given great support. But it is high time more efforts are made. CUDP is a small unit which survives mainly because of donations from SOIR-IM/IMEX Fair Trade and the Shelly and Rubin Foundation. Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org for communication and check out their Facebook Page.
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