The Delhi government has drafted a policy to keep a check on the wastage of food at social functions in the capital. According to an article in The Times of India, it will put a cap on the number of guests at any function. The maximum number of guests will be the number obtained by dividing the area of the venue by 1.5 sqm or by multiplying total number of cars that can be parked by four. Also, all organisers and caterers will have to register themselves with NGOs to manage the surplus and leftover food for distribution among the underprivileged. The Delhi government’s policy is a much-needed initiative to control the monster that we called big fat Indian weddings and the general disregard for perishable resources like food.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • Delhi Governments new policy will cap the number of guests at any event in the capital.
  • The organisers and caterers will have to distribute surplus food among underprivileged.
  • However such measure will only be followed out of legal obligation and not genuine awareness.
  • While this policy is much needed, we must think of steps that can be taken to fuel care for resources among people.

Delhi government’s policy is a much-needed initiative to control the monster that we called big fat Indian weddings and the general disregard for perishable resources like food.

Who would have thought that Indian weddings would become synonymous with wastage and pollution, but here we are. In fact most functions these days aren’t about upholding customs or celebrations, they are about display of wealth, power and a certain kind of lifestyle. No gathering is considered shandaar, unless there are more varieties of food than you can count on your fingers and toes. The venue needs to be lit up like a palace and there should be a constant supply of amenities like water disposable cutlery, paper napkins etc. to the guests, to be replenished or replaced after every few minutes, whether they need it or not.

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Do we ever stop to think about the amount of damage to the ecosystem that our desire to organise people pleasing events do? Haven’t we seen a plate laden with food, plastic glasses half or nearly full find their way to the trash cans? Or the number toothpicks and napkins we waste with every round of starters at events like weddings, birthday parties or gatherings etc? The lavishness of our events doesn’t just cost the organisers; it costs our country, our planet valuable resources. For the lack of better words, the amount of food and water wasted at functions in our society is vulgar.

Do we ever stop to think about the amount of damage to the ecosystem that our desire to organise people pleasing events do? Haven’t we seen plates laden with food, plastic glasses half or nearly full find their way to the trash cans?

What values are we passing down to the next generation with this disregarded to nature? If rituals and gatherings are all about love, celebration and relationships, then why do you need a venue whose glow can be spotted from the moon? It is saddening that the Supreme Court and government have to intervene in this matter and that better sense is yet to prevail among citizens. Most will see this restriction as a curtailment of their rights. They will feel offended, and even if they do follow the policy, it will be out of legal obligation, and not awareness.

Which is why one wonders if this policy is just a temporary fix? Don’t get me wrong, our excesses have soared to a point where such an intervention is essential, no doubt about that. But in the long run, like Swacch Bharat, we need a campaign to sensitised citizens, to drill some ecological awareness in everyone. It can’t be just restricted to separating dry and wet waste at home. The desire to be eco-friendly and to put the planet and its resources well before social obligations should come from within.

Those who may feel offended by the capping of guests and salvaging of excess food, there is a way out. If we cut down on the excesses, learn to celebrate in a way which does little or no damage to our resources, the policy may be relaxed in future. But as of now, we called this upon ourselves.

Picture Credit: Gravity Gate

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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