Every day, we put the garbage out and it disappears, never again to remind us of things we’ve wasted. There are no trash fairies, no wizards waving wands. Safai karmacharis, rag pickers, scrap dealers, waste workers, garbage truck drivers and others dealing directly with waste who silently serve our communities are now in a vulnerable position amid the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. Can we come through for them at this crucial time?
Who are we?
We are a small group of waste management companies [Sampurn(e)arth Environment Solutions, Social Lab, ZeroTrash Innovations LLP]. We have teamed up with social organizations and municipal corporations who are collaborating out of concern for the vast number of waste workers in India. Our beneficiaries are the REAL REASON our communities are not drowning in the 62 million tonnes of garbage generated annually in our homes, schools, markets and workplaces.
We want to support as many waste workers as possible through this lockdown and in the period immediately thereafter. CSR and large donor efforts are underway separately. Simultaneously, we aim to support 500 families of waste workers with roughly Rs.2000/- worth of ration supplies, medical necessities, personal protective equipment (PPE) and cash disbursements where required. It may seem an insignificant number but if we can raise the Rs.10,00,000 needed for this outreach from members of the public, it will be totally worth the effort.
Purchase of scrap has come to a halt in Pune rendering waste pickers, scrap-dealers and the whole supply chain jobless. In Nagaland, a scrap picker has been secretly collecting waste. He risks being caught and thrashed by police for a kilo of rice to feed his family of seven. Women waste workers in Kolhapur stitched themselves cloth masks. They work in the dumpsite from 9 am to 6 pm, walking a thin line as they handle cotton swabs and discarded syringes originating in the city’s medical centres.
Crisis has an unusual way of presenting us opportunities to do the humane thing. When the sun has gone down on Covid-19 in India, we will resume our battles with overflowing landfills, faulty segregation and plastic jamming the gutters. But can we emerge saying that we gave back joyfully to the ones who have made a difference long before we clicked the button to donate?
What does a support pack typically contain?
Support kits could vary depending on the size of family, special dietary and medical needs. We would also consider monetary support for each family to best meet their unique needs. Typically, a food support pack contains :
Wheat aata : 5 kgs
Rice : 5 kgs
Oil : 2 litres
Dal : 2 kgs
Salt : 1 kg
Sugar : 1 kg
Onions & Potatoes : 2 kgs
Biscuits (ParleG) : 1 packet
Access this transparent, real time report of families that are being supported.
Check out profiles of partner organisations in this campaign.