In alignment with the Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) campaign, celebrated from 15 September to 2 October 2023, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, inaugurated “Recycling on Wheels Smart-ER” at the CSIR Headquarters in New Delhi.
During the flag-off ceremony, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “The ‘Recycling on Wheels Smart-ER’ project aligns perfectly with the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign’s objective of fostering a cleaner India.” He said, it not only bolsters transportation efficiency and cost reduction but will also efficiently extract precious metals from shredded e-waste in its later phase, making a significant contribution to the circular economy, thus aligning with the Swachh Bharat mission.
Dwelling on the Swacchata Hi Seva theme, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “Mahatma Gandhi gave us the virtue of Swacchata, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it a part of life.”
The Minister elaborated that soon after taking charge in May 2014, PM Modi declared the Swacch Bharat Mission on 15 August 2014 to make India an open defecation-free country. He said, the cleanliness mission got institutionalised within a few years and it has become a way of life, a true mass movement (Jan Andolan).
Referring to “Recycling on Wheels Smart-ER”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “This project recognises Safai Mitra’s crucial role in cleanliness, preserving both the environment and their health through responsible e-waste disposal. It stands out by offering skill development, aligning with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and promoting sustainability, contributing to the motto of Training, Transport, and Technology, empowering the informal sector with skills, efficient transportation, and technology for a better future.” Further, he emphasised, “This project introduces a pioneering approach to e-waste management in India, with no comparable counterpart in the country to date. It sets an entirely new benchmark for sustainable e-waste practices, characterised by a unique design and implementation that amalgamates efficiency, accessibility, and environmental responsibility.”
He concluded, “As we embark on this transformative journey of 'Recycling on Wheels Smart-ER,' we actively contribute to the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign and reinforce the significance of cleanliness, environmental responsibility, and the well-being of our dedicated Safai Mitras. Together, we are creating a cleaner and greener India, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visionary call.”
In her address, DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR, Dr N Kalaiselvi, said that Bapu rightly mentioned that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” and narrated Gandhiji’s contribution to three vital and basic components of food, shelter and clothing in alignment with the environmental and climatic norms.
Dr Kalaiselvi said that all 37 CSIR labs across the country are engaged with both physical cleaning and e-cleaning processing, and weeding out of obsolete files.