PM Modi calls for creating awareness on proper disposal of electronic waste to protect the environment
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed on the need to dispose of E-Waste properly, as it can harm the environment. Addressing the nation through the 97th episode of his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi observed that today’s latest devices are the future’s E-Waste. Mr. Modi pointed out that E-Waste can become a great force in the Circular Economy of recycling and reusing. He stressed that if E-Waste is not disposed off properly, it can harm the environment.
A United Nations report mentioned that 50 million tonnes of E-Waste are thrown every year. Mr Modi told listeners that about 17 types of Precious Metals can be extracted from this E-Waste through different processes. This includes Gold, Silver, Copper and Nickel.
The Prime Minister said that utilising E-Waste is no less than making ‘Kachre Ko Kanchan’. He said, there is no dearth of start-ups that are doing innovative work in this direction. At present, around 500 E-Waste Recyclers are associated with this sector and many new entrepreneurs are also being associated with it. This sector has also given direct employment to thousands of people. Mr Modi gave the example of E-Parisaraa of Bengaluru which is engaged in one such effort. It has developed indigenous technology for extracting precious metals from Printed Circuit Boards.
The Prime Minister also made note of Ecoreco in Mumbai which has developed a system to collect E-Waste through a Mobile App. Attero Recycling of Roorkee, Uttarakhand has obtained many patents in this field worldwide.
It has also earned a lot of awards by preparing its own E-Waste Recycling Technology. Tonnes of E-Waste is being collected in Bhopal through a Mobile App and the Website ‘Kabadiwala’. Prime Minister lauded these initiatives saying all these are helping to make India a Global Recycling Hub. He also stressed the need for awareness among people about safe, useful methods of disposal of E-Waste. At present, only 15 to 17 per cent of E-Waste is recycled every year.
Mr Modi spoke about the work that India has done for its wetlands. ‘Wetland sites’ are those places where water remains accumulated throughout the year on marshy soil-like land. World Wetlands Day will be celebrated on the 2nd of February. The Prime Minister said, wetlands are very important for the existence of the earth, as many birds and animals depend on them. Along with enriching Biodiversity, they also ensure Flood control and Ground Water Recharge.
Ramsar Sites are wetlands which are of International importance. Wetlands are declared Ramsar Sites if they fulfill certain criteria. Ramsar Sites should have 20 thousand or more water birds. It is important to have a large number of local fish species. The Prime Minister was pleased to inform that the total number of Ramsar Sites in India has increased to 75. He said that before 2014, there were only 26 Ramsar Sites in the country.
Mr Modi said, Chilika Lake of Odisha is known to shelter more than 40 waterbird species. Kaibul-Lamjaa, Loktak is considered to be the only natural habitat of the Swamp Deer. Vedanthangal of Tamil Nadu was declared a Ramsar Site in 2022.
The Prime Minister gave the entire credit for preserving the bird population in Vedanthangal to the farmers in the neighbourhood. He said, the Panjath Nag community in Kashmir spends a day, especially cleaning the village spring during the Annual Fruit Blossom festival. He said, most of the Ramsar Sites also have a unique cultural heritage. Mr. Modi mentioned that Manipur’s cultures have a deep connection with Loktak and the sacred lake Renuka. Similarly, Sambhar is also related to Shakambhari Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, he added.
Mr Modi spoke about the severe winter this time in the country, especially in North India. He said, pictures from Jammu and Kashmir of the winter season captivated hearts in the entire country. He mentioned that the people also liked the video of the train going from Banihal to Budgam. He urged listeners to visit Kashmir and see the snow-capped mountains. He added that Winter Games were organised in Syedabad, Kashmir. The theme of these Games was – Snow Cricket! The Prime Minister signed off by asking people to strengthen the Indian Republic through public participation.