Dear all: With immense pride and delight I share an article written by our Program Manager @vimalkalavadiya and community paralegal (enviro-legal coordinator) Shvetangini Patel who works with Ujjas Mahila Sangathan, a women’s organisation working in the area that has recently collaborated with Centre for Policy Research (CPR)-Namati Environment Justice program.
The article is about the problem of nuisance, discomfort and risk of disease outbreaks faced by the inhabitants of Meghpar village in Kutch, Gujarat that has been turned into a site to dump the waste of Gandhidham, a nearby town.
The article highlights the importance of locating the problem in shortfalls in compliance of environmental laws. The article provides a detailed account of steps taken to get the concerned government officials to make a visit to the site. It describes how Shvetangini, neither deterred by the limitations of her women clients in terms of their old age and lack of literacy, nor acting as an ‘expert’ for them, innovated a game to make them understand the provisions of the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000.
The exercise helped to the extent that when faced with lame excuses by the officials of the Pollution Control Board for not acting, the women pointed to the relevant clauses of the rules that not just authorize the board to take action but also stipulate what action to take.
Although the site is still in operation in the same manner (despite a show cause notice issued by the board), the article ends by drawing our attention to the perseverance of these women to fight the illegality and get the desired remedy.
We look forward to your thoughts, feedback and reactions.