Bhopal: The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) awarded a grant to Saahas, a non-profit organization working in waste management, to establish sustainable waste management infrastructure in 30 villages around Coca-Cola National Park. Panna, over the next two years. In doing so, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) joins the first-ever multi-stakeholder partnership to support local government’s waste management initiative, with the Ministry of Tourism of Madhya Pradesh as part of their “Clean Destinations” initiative. “. The initiative also encompasses the Government of India’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission, which aims to strengthen sustainable waste management across the country, especially in villages.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed today, in the presence of the Honorable Governor Mr. Mangubhai C. Patel; Smt. Usha Thakur from the Minister of Tourism; ; Sri. Brajendra Pratap Singh, Minister of Mineral Resources and Labour, Madhya Pradesh; Shri VD Sharma, Member of Parliament, Khajuraho; Sri. Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Chief Tourism Secretary of Madhya Pradesh; Mr. Sanjay Kumar Mishra, the District Collector; as well as Mr. Rajesh Ayapilla and Mr. Rajiv Gupta from Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.
As part of the responsible tourism mission, an innovative initiative, the “Clean Destination” project, has been launched by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Department of Tourism. Shri Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary, Tourism informed that, in the first phase, the project would be launched in 30 villages around the Panna National Park. For this, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board and ‘Saahas’ based in Bangalore. The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) provided financial assistance for the same.
Commenting on this grant, Mrs. Saadia Madsbjerg, President of TCCF said, “We are proud to use our resources to fund initiatives to create sustainable waste management solutions. And we are humbled to believe that this grant will help effectively reuse waste on our journey to spur progress in the Panna National Park region. Both TCCF and The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) support the achievement of a World Without Waste (WWW), a bold and ambitious goal to achieve 100% collection and recycling by 2030. WWW signals renewed interest in sustainable waste management on a global scale.
Sonia Garga, Program Director, said: “Saahas is very excited to be part of this initiative and we envision this project becoming an example of sustainable waste management practices for national parks and natural tourist attractions. National parks pose unique challenges due to their remoteness and the large amount of waste generated by tourists. However, they also offer a great opportunity. The message of sustainable living can be delivered in a very powerful way in this pristine environment and the parks have the potential to spread this message far and wide thanks to the large number of visitors from all over the country. We look forward to helping keep our natural heritage clean and green! »
The main objective of this Solid Waste Management (SWM) program includes the establishment of infrastructure for waste collection and transportation systems that ensure the creation of final destinations for all categories of waste. In addition, it incorporates information, education and communication (IEC) and awareness campaigns to create awareness and behavior change among tourists regarding waste sorting and management.
Under this project, waste management infrastructure, including collection centers, will be set up for the 30 villages. This project will also provide motorized vehicles and pull carts throughout the project area for waste collection and transportation. Wet composting of waste will also be implemented for two larger villages, Madla and Hinauta. Separate color-coded waste sorting bins will be placed at all major tourist sites and at the entrance gates to the national park.
The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board will play a central role in the implementation of the project, along with various departments and institutions of the state government, including the Department of Forestry, Rural, Urban and Taxation, as well as the Bureau of the district panchayat. The department has extended its immense support by providing land for the establishment of collection infrastructure as well as the necessary civic amenities in 30 villages to ensure the sustainability of SWM systems.