THE PROBLEMSolid waste management industry thrives at the fringes of the society. In the dirty corners of the neighbourhood where Bottles are washed in deadly chemicals with bear hands, children work with dirty and dangerous medicine stripes. Cables are burned to get the brass within. The larger society pities them, avoids them and at times hates them. They are often beaten up in suspicion of theft, and are not allowed to walk in homes of so called respectable neighbourhoods. No civic body work exclusively for them and they are often illegal to the government bodies. Most of them have no social security documents. Working with waste, people who work here turn to waste themselves. Chhai Math (Field of Ashes) is a site of informal solid waste management in Titagarh, under Kolkata Metropolitan area, in the eastern state of West Bengal, India. Neighbouring localities do not practice segregation, endangering environment at large and waste pickers. Chhai Math is populated with 20000 inhabitants, 90% of whom work as waste pickers (80%), labourers (10%) and itinerant buyers. 80% of these waste pickers and labourers are women, children and adolescent, who work amidst grueling working hours and minimal or no employment security.
HOW THE FUNDS WOULD BE USEDThe funds raised on my campaign here on Milaap would go towards: 1. Detail mapping of solid waste management process and Carry out survey of the waste pickers - Rs. 25,000/ - 2. Sensitize meeting of waste pickers on occupational hazard and health impact of present mode of waste management. - Rs. 15,000/- 3. Mobilize and formation of small self-help group of waste pickers and labours - Rs. 10,000/- 4. Training - Rs. 70,000 - 1. Entrepreneurship Development, (Rs. 20,000X2 = Rs. 40,000) - 2. Waste to manure and value chain model and (Rs. 5000X4=Rs. 20,000) - 3. Health and hygiene education and use of safety measures during their work, (Rs. 2500X4=Rs. 10,000) 5. Dialogue and multi-stakeholders workshop to provide ID card for recognition and facilitate the process of providing existing social security and health services to waste pickers. - Rs. 20,000/- 6. Create awareness at community level, school children, college student on waste management and facilitate home based composting of organic waste use of decorated waste composting pots. - Rs. 45000 7. Seed money for material support to Waste Pickers group for purchasing waste to manure - Rs. 50000 8. Admin cost for programme coordinator - Rs. 1,20,000 9. Contingency and travel: Rs. 4000
THE SOLUTIONThey work from 4 am and collect various kinds of wastes from the preselected road pits till 12 am, where bio and non-bio elements remain mixed. They would come back and churn from the day’s collection different elements (paper, glass, plastic, leather, aluminum foils) and would sell them to the itinerant waste buyers who employ another category of people who segregate the waste by cleaning (in case of glass), stripping (plastic and aluminum strips from medicine), and preparing them for shipment. Different items sale for various prices. Paper sells for 5 to 7 INR/kg, plastic ranges from 7 to 17 INR/kg, glass for 12 to 15 INR/kg, leather for 10 INR/kg. These are the prices that the waste pickers get. They earn around 100 to 150 INR/day. These people need immediate attention; Social security, Economic and Health care support. Our objective is to build Eco-friendly waste management system involving all stakeholders and this would be done by the following: 1. Sensitize, Organize, Recognize: Waste pickers, Labours, Buyers and Recyclers on waste management 2. Create Awareness among waste generators 3. Capacity Building of waste pickers and generators 4. Linkage with recyclers, Civic body and Government with Waste pickers 5. Baseline survey, mapping 6. Sensitize waste pickers on hazard of present mode of waste management 7. Form self help groups of waste pickers and labors 8. Train groups on use of safety measures and promote use of safety measures 9. Training of Waste pickers on Entrepreneurship, waste to manure and value chain model 10. Involve Civic bodies to issue ID card, provide social security 11. Create awareness at community on environmental friendly waste management 12. promote segregation and composting of organic waste in composting pot at home 13. Advocacy with itinerant buyers, recyclers on providing safety measure 14. Hand-holding support to waste pickers