He was with us for the get-together for Tara's father's 98 birthday. I know appa used to call Ramakanth often while he was the president of the Kumara Park Residents association. We had not met for a while and I spoke to him about his passion.
He said come with me and walked out of the hall and pointed to garbage piled next to an ugly transformer on the foot path. (That is another story, the pathetic condition of footpaths in Bengaluru!). He said 'Your caterer did that. Most of it is dry waste and could have been easily recycled. So next time make it a condition that the caterer segregates.' I said yes and asked him to tell me more about his work.
It happened soon, I joined him on his visit to a school in Indira Nagar. (More about it later!).
On the way to the school, he said he takes a bus wherever it is convenient. As a member of the BBMP Solid Waste Management Expert Committee, he is constantly on the move talking to schools, apartment complexes, small vendors and so on.
There are many things to tell, but what hit me was the video which shows the condition of Mandur village. It was shocking! While it was no-brainer that BBMP took an easy way out, I do not know what prompted the villagers to accept this garbage. Ramakanth says it is complicated and there is no easy solution. Big monies are spent in collecting, segregating and taking it to Mandur and dumping it in Mandur. Obviously vested interests are not going to let go of this easily.
But it is not just the corrupt officials, politicians and business people who are to be blamed. I guess each of one of us in Bengaluru are culpable. We need to do our bit. I believe most of have a conscience and I am sure, once we see the video, we will all be shaken up from our slumber and will do our bit to make Bengaluru a better place to live.
I plan to blog again about Ramakanth and his work in detail. He is busy till next week. The steps are simple and easily implementable.
Some news items which gives you an idea of the seriousness of the problem and the about N S Ramakanth: