WATCH: A Dump in Karachi, The Zero Waste Colony of New Delhi, and…

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IRSHAD SALIM – Last week, I watched three different videos shared at three different WhatsApp forums I’m privileged to be a member of. Together they characterize –in my view, the lead/lag syndrome between problem-solving and solution finding. When there’s a disconnect between the bottom-up and the top-bottom, such as is the case in Karachi, ‘paralysis of analysis’ is the dessert on the dinner table.

A dump in Karachi: Leaf composting, leachate collection & treatment, and a combination of both may be the solution.

Not that the top-down responsibilities traditionally embedded in city governance ought to be or can be or should be written off at all.

Here’s a bottom-up responsibility: The zero waste colony in New Delhi — one of the slivers of bottom-up solutions which takes the sheen off the ‘disconnect’ and the ‘paralysis of analysis’ syndrome.

Bottom-up and top-down yin yang go hand-in-hand though, in order to build up the idea of clean and healthy streets, neighborhoods, towns, cities, mega cities, etc.

Ideas that work; must have started as a laughable one, laughed at, to its functional level.

In other words, when things don’t work, and the problem needs to be resolved — undisruptionally, some level of imagineering at grass-root albeit street level is helpful. This is bottom-up approach.

Find a way (solution) to park (resolve) the problem.

At times, and sometime most of the time I would say, solutions are us, within ourselves. Here’s a candid one (below). It was WhatsApped to me in 2020, when in a chat with a gentleman, he realized that I was a resident of Karachi also, but decades ago.



Fast forward, this video clip (below) — two clips curated together and edited for clarity purposes, is a candid ‘solutions are us, within ourselves’ short:


Years ago, one of my supervisors overseas once said: “Salim, you need three things in you to succeed: You have to be a dreamer of course, and a hard/smart worker to turn ideas into reality, but a son of a g**n” to make it.” This probably fits the handling of the waste issue also.

Every problem is like the waste, and every waste is like a problem –just like the two sides of a coin. Adopting the ‘heads I win, tail you lose’ mantra, I take it, the ‘son-of-a-gun’ thing my supervisor had said decades back, may be IS THE coin!

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