15 Sept 2023
Enviromental impact and the extent of pollution caused by improper electoral campaigning
In student’s democracy- environment takes a backseat.
The rampant campaigning for the student elections may be something which we all needed to witness, but none were prepared to take in account its repercussions. It’s been quite many days since student unions released the names of their official candidates, followed by regular mass-mobilizing events in the entire Delhi University’s campus. However, we have failed to generate consensus in identifying the problems associated with these campaigns. The amount of paper wasted every day is a major concern for the student community. Since the campaigning guidelines have restricted the use of the candidate’s photographs, they have resorted to spreading out their name and popularity via pamphlets. However, any regular college going student can attest to the fact that the manner of spreading these pamphlets across the student community is a major detriment to environmental standards and pose a threat to the safety of daily commuters across the area. Instead of handing them out individually to students, pamphlets are being thrown in the air during student marches, and worse, during vehicular rallies being carried out on a regular basis. Acts like these not only pollute the roads and magnify the burden of the sanitation department; they also pose a dangerous scenario where the visibility of the daily commuters gets jeopardized, which might lead to fatal accidents. While the candidates contesting the elections claim themselves as the champions of their respective causes, they have failed to take accountability for such events by staying mum on questions regarding such acts. There is no logical validity for throwing these pamphlets on the road, thus reducing visibility of the very same. The amount of paper being wasted due to such activities is unfathomable. Whilst our country is leading the presidency of G20, a reputed multilateral bloc consisting of reputed nations, and hosting it in New Delhi, it is peculiar to take into account the fact that such activities are taking place in the same city which boasts itself of sustainable development and is hosting a ton of world leaders across the globe. Even though the infamous Lyngdoh report strictly objects and disapproves the use of printed posters and pamphlets, the campaign rallies of these candidates pay no heed to it. Besides the use of printed paper, the report also bars people who are not a student of the UoD campus to indulge themselves in the election campaigning, something which is being blatantly violated by such people. Such act of negligence by the concerned authorities is a matter of grave concern. There have been various instances where candidates and their supporters are forcefully entering college premises without any prior approval, resulting in scuffles and forceful entry. Even though this is again not permitted under the provisions laid out by the Lyngdoh report, these candidates have been blatantly violating it, making all such provisions as equivalent to the fine print. While our city, as well as our country takes pride in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, such acts of gross negligence by the youth, supported by the authorities turning a blind eye to such events is what made these matters worse. The 2016 NGT order, which also directs against the use of printed paper to be used in canvassing and rallies, has also been disregarded by both the student and college authorities. It is shame to consider the fact that a world renowned university like that of UoD is being constantly scrutinized by environmental agencies and they are yet to bring reforms. The code of conduct for this year’s DUSU elections only consists of a column where “facilities for paperless campaign by contesting candidates” has been brought up, while the use of printed pamphlets has still been prohibited. Call it an instance of mockery, irony, or plain right sarcasm, welcome to the Dark and Unnerving Side of the University, or DUSU, and that, is what you call sarcasm.
Disclaimer:-This piece expresses the opinions of the author alone and not S.C.A.R.S.C.A.R neither endorses nor discredits any claims or opinions made in this write-up