Pilgrimage of Cleanliness
Pilgrimage of Cleanliness (Purity of Mind & The Streets)
Lakhs of devotees participate in the annual pilgrimage called Wari of St. Dnyaneshwar that starts at Alandi, Dist. Pune to Pandharpur, Dist. Solapur, covering a total of 247 kilo meters over a period of 22 days during June-July. The primary problems that arise due to such large numbers of pilgrims include defecation in the open, litter from donated food and filth generated by cooking, washing and spitting on the streets. Cities have some level of readiness to tackle this problem, but small towns and villages don’t. Tanishka women in Saswad found a solution and did a successful test run as well.
Find a solution to the cleanliness issue, test run it, then rope in the Municipal Corporation to implement the solution across the town of Saswad.
Sant Dnyaneshwar was a 13th century Marathi saint, poet, philosopher and yogi whose literary masterpieces, Dnyaneshwari and Amrutanubhav, are considered to be milestones in Marathi literature. He was so spiritually enlightened that people take a pilgrimage called Wari to honour his memory. Such people are called Warkaris and lakhs of warkaris walk 247 kilometres in this wari every year. Citizens of villages, towns and cities welcome them with fervour and gaiety and walk with them as far as they can. The mood is electric as the Warkaris travel with saffron flags, various musical instruments, playing different rhythms and different kinds of music. People offer them food, drinking water, medicines, shelter for the night and other things as a token of their love for their God, Sant Dnyaneshwar.
However, when lakhs of people pass through a village/town/city, tackling the crowd becomes a challenge for the civic authorities. The primary problems include defecation in the open, litter from donated food and filth generated by cooking, washing and spitting on the streets. Cities have some level of readiness to tackle this problem, with a number of mobile toilets installed throughout the city, but small towns and villages can’t. However, Tanishka team in Saswad came up with ‘Wari of cleanliness’ initiative where they discussed various ways of resolving the problem. Finally, they found a lady, Manisha Date, another Tanishka member in Pune, who had a track record of successfully resolving garbage problem in Taljai area. Ms. Date was called to Saswad for help. She said that she had come up with a powder that could be used to remove the unbearable stink of human feces immediately, while its complete decomposition would happen within 2 days. With the help of local Municipal Corporation, the powder was tested and is now officially approved, even by the Health Officer, to be used during the Wari processions every year.