The Global Development Research Center, GDRC defines Quality of Life (QOL) as the product of the interplay among social, health, economic and environmental conditions which affect human and social development. QOL reflects the gap between the hopes and expectations of a person or population and their present experience.
In a country like India, which aspires to be a global economic giant, public health and quality of life are degrading everyday with the increasing gap between services required and those provided. India is also considered a sacred nation by the majority of its inhabitants but the streets and open lands in Indian cities are filled with untreated and rotting garbage.
|Improper SWM is an Everyday Nuisance to Urban Indians|
Current citizens of India are living at a time of unprecedented economic growth and changing lifestyles. Unsanitary conditions on the streets and air pollution in the cities will widen the gap between their expectations due to the rapidly changing perception of their “being” and “where they belong” and the prevailing conditions, resulting in plummeting quality of life.
Improper SWM is an everyday nuisance to urban Indians.Uncollected waste on the streets, acts as a breeding ground for street dogs, stray animals and other disease vectors. Urban Indians have to deal with stench on the streets as soon as they leave their homes and have to walk by or drive by open bins and MSW dumps every day. During the rainy season, many urban Indians come across the unpleasant experience of having to walk in ankle height waters mixed with rotting MSW. The author during his research visits in India observed dry solid waste flying with wind, in the streets of Chennai. Living with children in such conditions adds to the trauma of adults that their children have to get exposed to such living conditions. These experiences are very unpleasant and unsettling and they develop a downgraded image of themselves to the citizens. There is a danger that such conditions for a prolonged time impact the sense of community between individuals and encourages indifference to any initiatives taken towards the betterment of the situation
Such conditions and experiences cause decrease in the work efficiency and disease. The high disease burden due to improper SWM will result in a degraded QOL and in turn disrupts the citizen’s sense of well being. These cumulatively impact the economy of the urban centers negatively.
This post is section 4.6 in Sustainable Solid Waste Management in India.