Once a tissue paper raised its voice: dump me and you love your country, throw me and you are a liar. Then they burnt it! There was no carbon to be seen for it was very small, like the way there are not too much wastes to be seen in the township of Bhutan, and in the suburb area. Yes, not much in quantity, yet, to some extent, viewable. Then faculty of thinking of this author made a question about it: how much time it may take to decide from the citizen’s perspective that life is even more beautiful without waste? The author also things and propagates that, love is nothing but a piece of tissue paper. Once you dump it to the right place, you are in love with your country. It is being told probably because on the ground that, the issue is verily manageable.
Once this overall management turns to be a micro-management, individual awareness tends but to a very important factor, and the government of Bhutan has sufficient measures regarding this including policy issuance, and rejuvenating the commoners’ mind in realizing the fact that, they have both individual and collective responsibilities to save the environment. In fact, according to the Waste Prevention and Management Act of Bhutan, 2009 in the Article 4(a) and 4(c) of Purpose section of Chapter II (Principles Applicable to Waste Prevention and Management) are telling about reducing the generation of waste at source and disposal of waste in an environmentally sound manner. And this will be ensured both from the perspectives all the citizens’ and respective government and non-government authority.
Now let’s talk about the existing policy from citizen’s perspectives. If we think our willingness to compromise over our apathy to do the right things will avail us nothing, then we are in a state of malady. We have no way to compromise with our environment. Our environment by nature is sound and ordered. Once we, the human being intervene the nature, it experiences that malady. Now that we have learn from the extract and the essence of the thoughtfulness of the HM Kingship which came out in the form of rule and policies, for me, the advantage of the position of thinking like this is, the national policy being exceptionally well-stocked, and it is able to give the government the full access to implement. This is of course not a talk about probability. Rather let’s talk about how the national policy on waste management looks like. It’s shear clean, so why not the roadside, the corners, the nooks where there are some, literally very small waste to be dumped. Essence of the policies in the Article 17-20 of the Public Responsibilities section of Chapter IV (Responsibilities) is that, all persons regardless of urban or rural areas are a must to fulfill their civic responsibility and good ethics in waste management in terms of segregating, reducing, reusing, recycling the waste individually, collectively and in cooperation with the implementing agencies.
Unlike the roads and highways, and the pavements of some SAARC countries like Bangladesh (including expressway), some of that in India, and surprisingly even that of some ASEAN countries like Singapore and Malaysia where the chaps of the subcontinent mostly have feet have wastes, that of Bhutan’s is majestic. It gives you a wonderful experience while hovering through, imbibing the scenic beauty of the country in the lap of the range of the gigantic and glorious Himalaya. The usual good mannered people, both the native and the outsiders coming for work in or visit to this wonderful country can be made zero tolerant regarding the waste of where it is to be dumped. And we need to be a zero tolerant on it. Why not? Because, it is, again, implementable, and the country has a commitment to herself. In the section Precautionary Principle, Article 8 of Waste Prevention and Management Act of Bhutan, 2009 states that, every person shall take all precautionary measures in maintaining a clean and healthy environment. It is to be noted that, the article has been personified in the sense that, it is for us to be zero-tolerant in measuring the environment.
Finally, this is the individual’s mindset of doing the right things in a right way. In the Right and Duty section, Article 6 states that, a person has the right to a safe and healthy environment with equal and corresponding duty to protect and promote the environmental wellbeing of the country as enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. As a result it comes to our own responsibility to do things in a way that, we may not be the reason for the others fatality. This simple but outstanding ideas will need solidity, which will largely depend on the extension and integrity of our individual’s action. We must not forget that the whole management will be seen as the effect of the actions taken by the government of the physical objects, not just an untouchable image playing on our abstract mind. This is too pragmatic a work. This rationality comes out from experience and the national culture. Bhutan has this.
The philosophical movement started by John Locke, continued by George Berkeley, and completed by David Hume was that, the human being can’t have any sort of knowledge, but what they derive from experience. This experience is somewhat the inner operations of our mind that are directed only on the materials and events we have in our daily life. Some simple ideas of sense of some abstract entities, for example the designated rules that guide human lives have the characteristics to empower human minds once they are sustainable. Then how the people can originally be unjustified to rules? This un-justification can be varied from one to another due to the vital distinction in perception and understanding. It is likely that there had to be different personalities among the people in perceiving ideas, rules or policies. But the discrepancy in individual’s reasoning will not suffice the whole community to reach to the proper response to those setup policies. This is but a permanent impossibility. So, at the end, there is nothing to grieve, the set froth rules or policies, and the promulgation of those will bring the commoners’ sense of realization in constituting the national culture into existence, once the promulgation in its true sense has not turned its back upon it.
The protective measure as per the national policy from individual perspectives demands an immediate realization of those who are still in the abysmal of unconsciousness regarding dumping personal waste in order for enhancing a great look of the national highways, local ways, and the country as a whole. To be gross, the response to the national policy regarding saving the environment of Bhutan as a part of global movement is going satisfactorily except for the fact that, the common people who don’t have the knowledge in the literal records, they don’t usually care about the documents of the pen and paper. Of course then, how they can sense the color of policy? Its simple answer is, it is the national culture only minus those small disposition, the little scattered waste here and there in the cities and outside. This small amount of waste which we call noise, something unwanted for, who don’t know is an inevitable part of life. Yet we expect to reduce it – to the ablest of our potential.
Let’s do it.
Khandaker D Islam
Assistant Professor, Royal University of Bhutan