Russian Lady Plans To Clean Himalayan Villages

Yana Danilova with her husband Chet Ram

Manali: Yana Danilova a Russian national was an accountant with The Walt Disney Company in Moscow before she came to India in 2012 to visit Goa and fell in love with Chet Ram, a native of Manali, and married him.

Both of them came to Manali and shocked by garbage pollution in this beautiful land they got one aim – to promote community hygiene in rural India. They headed to village Sajla in Himachal Pradesh to start a project on Waste Management in rural area to improve sanitary conditions in villages of Kullu District.

Yana’s cleaning drive at work

In a span of four months, Yana was able to mobilize 177 households to adopt wet and dry waste segregation and other waste management practices. With the assistance of the gram sabha and the village sarpanch, she conducted waste audits in the villages. In meetings with the villagers, she explained the benefits of community hygiene with three R – reduce, reuse and recycling of the garbage.

Roadside garbage littered around

With support of local NGO, she organized cleanliness drives, and planning to implement street plays and drawing competitions among school students to help promote waste management practices. She is planning to install colour-coded dustbins to segregate waste, thereby reducing the time-consuming job of waste segregation, and make it easier for the villagers to adopt the change.

Garbage cleared by Yana’s group

She even promoted revenue generation by setting up a system for the community to sell recyclable material to the local scrap dealer, which was a great motivator for the villagers. She hope that Manali area will soon be clean.With the aim Yana’s pilot project to be approved by district authorities and rolled out in many more villages in the district.

Speaking to Hill Post Yana said “Through this fellowship, I hope I have inspired villagers and local government bodies that ‘Clean India’ is not just a phrase…. Every change is starting with one’s little effort.”

Yana has a Masters Degree in Accounting and Finance from Moscow.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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