Inspirational:This Bengaluru Woman’s Vision Changed the Lives of Over 10,000 Waste Pickers


How many times have you stopped to thank the waste picker who cleans your building or the street you live in each day? Sadly, very few of us notice these silent workers, whose work is not recognized as long as things work well, until the one day they don't clear our refuse. They are the countless invisible faces that ensure our cities, roads and homes remain clean.
Despite providing such a vital service, without which we would choke on our own waste, most of them are irregular wage earners and have no access to structured welfare.

This gap forced Nalini Sekhar, a resident of Bengaluru, to found Hasiru Dala (Green Force) six years ago.It is a not-for-profit organisation that ensures waste pickers have social security and that they are included in the dialogue on social waste management.Way before the waste management rules came into being, Nalini was working with waste pickers.
For Nalini and her friends, Lakshmi and Purnima, it wasn't just a project. She was in her 20s when she began to spend hours with waste pickers each day, eating and chatting with them, even doing the job with them. She shares, "We felt that their work was phenomenal, and yet, they remained invisible."
Hasiru Dala endeavours to make the waste pickers self-reliant and become entrepreneurs. "The ideal situation is to have a clean world where we do not even need waste pickers. In that scenario, we must find alternates for them and make them self-reliant."
In this regard, they produce a 'product-compost kit' which is hand-delivered to the customer's house by the waste pickers.
Through a simple interaction of setting up the product and explaining its working, a new social equation is formed between the waste picker and the consumer, which helps the former in generating a livelihood.
Speaking about another initiative, Nalini says, "In collaboration with Jain University and Waste Wise Trust, we have developed a Scrap Dealer Certification programme, a one-of-its-kind training programme which has lent credibility to 7,000 waste pickers in Bengaluru for their work." She adds that they were all issued identity cards by the state.

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