National Cleanliness Day: When Chhath Puja Left Behind a Dumpyard

On National Cleanliness Day, it’s time to reflect on the perils of one of our most polluted rivers – the Yamuna.

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30 January is observed as National Cleanliness Day. The day ostensibly calls for high standards of cleanliness in our public places. But rhetoric is not enough to tackle the polluted mess that is India’s major rivers. This report by The Quint was done in the aftermath of the Chhat Puja celebrations in the country.

Over 1.5 lakh devotees congregated in 114 ghats across Delhi to celebrate the festival of Chhath Puja. The ghats which were decked up with carpeted shamiyanas a day back, have turned into a massive dumpyard with the festive remains disposed irresponsibly on the banks of a canal in Kalyanpuri.

 A boy wades through a canal near Kalyanpuri with the remains of the recently held Chhath Puja. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
A boy wades through a canal near Kalyanpuri with the remains of the recently held Chhath Puja. (Photo: The Quint)
A boy shows a picture frame of Lord Hanuman that he picked from the waters. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
A boy shows a picture frame of Lord Hanuman that he picked from the waters. (Photo: The Quint)
The ghat at Kalyanpuri in Delhi after Chhath Puja celebrations. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The ghat at Kalyanpuri in Delhi after Chhath Puja celebrations. (Photo: The Quint)

One of the ghats was a mess on the last day of the Chhath Puja as leftover food, flowers, plastic containers and wrappers piled up on the canal banks. Some made its way into the water contaminating the already polluted Yamuna.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is yet to clean up this mess.

Kalyanpuri Canal turns into a dumping ground for all the waste generated during the Chatth Puja. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Kalyanpuri Canal turns into a dumping ground for all the waste generated during the Chatth Puja. (Photo: The Quint)
A Swachh Bharat Abhiyan banner was seen hanging on a fence in the canal amidst the waste. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
A Swachh Bharat Abhiyan banner was seen hanging on a fence in the canal amidst the waste. (Photo: The Quint)

Whether it’s Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali or Chhath Puja – all these festivals generate tonnes of waste in their aftermath.

Despite fines and strict instructions, such negligence persists. Is it enough to point fingers at the authorities, without giving any thought to an individual’s responsibility?

(Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam)

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