Navi Mumbai civic body turns waste into food for the needy

The corporation collects a tonne of fruit by placing baskets at various immersion sites in the region; distributes them among children at three ashrams

The fruits collected from immersion sites were distributed among 100 children at three different ashramsThe fruits collected from immersion sites were distributed among 100 children at three different ashrams

Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation's (NMMC) unique idea of converting waste into edibles has given street children another reason to celebrate Ganeshostav. The civic body has managed to collect 1 tonne of fruits, which would have otherwise gone into waste, by placing 50 baskets at various immersion sites. The fruits were later distributed among 100 children in three ashrams based in Digha near Airoli, Turbhe and Nerul respectively.

Cleaned and distributed
According to sources, the corporation had placed the baskets along with banners, requesting devotees to drop fruits. Following the collection, civic officials washed the fruits and distributed them among the children.

A senior NMMC official, who supervised the collection, said, "At most of the sites, where the baskets were placed, local villagers carry out immersions. Earlier, they used to take back whatever food they had as 'prasad', but on spotting the baskets they dropped the fruits, which included apples, bananas, pomegranates and coconuts. We also found sweets in the baskets."

Good response
Speaking to mid-day, Tushar Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner of solid waste management department, NMMC, said, "It's very important to create awareness among the masses. In this case, we are getting a good response from people, who are happy to drop the fruits."

He further said, "We are waiting for the final day of immersion, when we expect to get a huge quantity of fruits. Those too will be distributed among street children. Their smiling faces are a reflection of the fact that we are going the right way in utilising the food that would otherwise have been thrown away."

When contacted, Tukaram Mundhe, former municipal commissioner, NMMC, said that last year a lot of food was wasted at the immersion sites. "Every year the corporation keeps separate dustbins at the sites for dry and wet wastes. Last time a bulk of fruits was found in the bins meant for dry waste. Hence, this year we ensured that the food reached the needy."

100
Total number of children among whom the fruits have been distributed

50
Total number of baskets placed at immersion sites

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