Where Wastepickers Become Entrepreneurs
Sustainability Next|July 2017

Bengaluru’s Citizens have looked at waste pickers, popularly called rag pickers, with disdain. Even if some acknowledge their constribution to the city’s cleanliness they don’t think waste pickers have or need an identity of their own.

Marwan Abubaker

Nalini Shekhar, Shekhar Prabhakar and Marwan Abubaker thought otherwise. They set up Hasiru Dala – green brigade in 2011. Today, they are a force to reckon with – they even won the 2016 Environment Award from the Karnataka government. The team brings rich experience in community service, management and operations.

Apart from their regular chore of picking up waste that has some value, Hasiru Dala believes that waste pickers have a good potential to unleash their entrepreneurial potential if right amount of training and support are provided to them. It undertakes skill upgradation through multiple training programs.

The focus areas of training is upgradation of skills in management and technical competencies in organic waste management, mushroom farming, terrace gardening services, providing professional waste management service for large and small events, zero waste events service and drivers’ training for commercial vehicles. In collaboration with Jain University and Waste Wise

Trust, Hasiru Dala has developed a Scrap Dealer Certification program, a first of its kind training program.

It also offers managerial support for Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCC). The dry waste (paper, plastic, metal, glass) is brought to their respective DWCC in every ward.

The Bangalore Municipal body is in the process of setting up 180 such centres shortly. They have created 50 entrepreneurs who have employed 500 people.

All waste pickers have government issued ID card that includes Adhaar card. With this they are able to access healthcare facilities and even loans for the expansion of their trade.

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