Faced with a growing waste disposal problem, a temple in Bengaluru decided to take action and transform its premises into a zero-waste zone. And this was done partly by taking a firm stance with its patrons to ensure that litter is not part of prayer.
Here’s how trustees and patrons have kept the Sri Shakti Kalyana Mahaganapati temple in Kalyan Nagar completely waste-free since June of 2016.
Since the temple has over 500 visitors every day, it began with implementing a rock-solid waste management system, wherein all the waste is segregated with no exception. Dry waste such as any plastic found in the premises is stored separately to be picked by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) workers on a daily basis. The wet waste, which includes leaves and flowers used for worship, is composted.
Additionally, the temple has come up with a strict rule for everyone who visits the premises- if they want prasadam (food offered in prayer), then they have to bring their own cups.
The temple has stopped distributing paper plates or other disposable forms of cutlery for patrons.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Ashok Betraj, one of the temple trustees spoke to the Times of India about the initiative mentioning that inspite of early push-back, it has been smooth sailing for the most part. He said, “Any change faces resistance and this initiative was not an exception. But we were firm on our stand. A man even fought with us when we refused to give him prasadam without containers. However, he visited the temple with a steel box the very next week.The message was taken well.”
Every Saturday, the temple distributes free food for over 600 people at its premises. It makes sure that the food is served on reusable melamine plates, keeping the zero-waste environment intact.
If cleanliness is truly godliness, then it is one rule this temple has followed to the last word.