In this episode of Rise Up, Bengaluru!, RJ Divya speaks with Nirmala and Swetha. Nirmala is from the NGO Hasirudala and Swetha is a citizen of Bengaluru who works in the field of Waste Management.
“I didn’t know much about waste management until I took it up fully. With other residents in my area, I created a group and started working on the issue. Initially, it was not easy and we saw rejections from citizens when we went for door-to-door surveys. I feel that Solid Waste Management needs a strong push from citizens, and not just from the BBMP.”
Nirmala believes that every ward in Bengaluru should have a composting unit and a Decentralized Dry Waste Collection Center. “Practically, things have to be adopted by the citizenry. Hasirudala identifies waste pickers and makes sure that the BBMP assigns them ID cards. These cards help them to avail of certain facilities. We also ask the BBMP to integrate waste pickers in Solid Waste Management activities, and that they are given ownership of a few DWCCs. Hasirudala is managing 35 out of 198 centers in Bengaluru today. They facilitate the skill-development of waste pickers at these centers. They also work on the social security credentials of the waste pickers, address substance abuse, help them in opening bank accounts, provide financial literacy, and help in planning savings. They are also taught about cyber-crime as they use ATM cards.”
Jhatkaa.org and Hasirudala have started to work together in Ward number 177, which has 17 Blocks. Here they are making citizens responsible for the waste they generate. The teams started with a survey and created WhatsApp groups through which they share and update waste management and waste collection activities. To reach all 17 Blocks, they started work with each street and gathered volunteers to work on the issue. So today, they have 17 Block Volunteers. Information gets shared about waste segregation and waste collection from both citizens and waste collectors. Citizens and MLAs of the area have been supporting the campaign substantially.
Listen in for more!