It’s hard to believe three months have already flown by since the last project update. I’m writing this one from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, where Waste Ventures has been working with Indian Grameen Services - exploring ways to involve the 5,000-plus waste pickers in and around Indore in the region’s solid waste management initiatives.
Indian Grameen Services (IGS) has been working with over 1,000 of these waste pickers in eight urban and peri-urban slums over the last four years. With educational programs for waste picker children and financial literacy training for their parents, they’re building groups of waste pickers that are investing in better futures. More than 100 children were moved into the mainstream public school system last year (kids who were otherwise helping their parents collect waste scraps - completely missing out on the chance to ever learn to read). They’ve helped hundreds of women open up savings accounts, and form them into self-help groups, which encourage savings and make collective loans to their members.
It’s awesome to be able to work with a change-making team like IGS, and we’re exhilarated that we get to help up the ante even more. IGS has helped waste pickers to do more with what little they have, but the fact remains: they still have way too little. Without a model for increasing their ability to earn, they continue to cram their families into one-room homes without access to running water, much less a toilet. This is where Waste Ventures comes in.
By working with IGS to build a waste picker company, we will increase the revenue potential of each kg of waste by 4x, thus increasing waste picker incomes, and giving them a stable, safe working environment. We are now in the process of comparing a few options for introducing door-to-door garbage pick-up services provided by waste pickers – all in and around Indore. The focus is on residential communities that do not have access to garbage services, and where waste is piling up in empty lots and roadside drains.
Once we have selected a project location, you will be the first to know – after all, your donations are what will make it possible to equip the first waste pickers we hire. Thank you (again)!
You don’t have to wait three months to hear updates from us, and can always read up on founder Parag’s blog, Talking Trash, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook.
Warm wishes to you all,
Tiffany and the Waste Ventures team
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