DSS, an NGO based in Ujjain, India organized a waste pickers’ convention in June. The organizers reported that the feedback from the participants was very positive. Many said it was the first time they had participated in something like this and it boosted their confidence to have a government official in their midst interacting with them respectfully. They expressed solidarity with one another, and highlighted the need to progress with the organization of waste pickers in Ujjain and to address other issues such as child labor in the sector and anti-encroachment drives by the Municipality. In addition, 25 joint liability groups (savings groups) are now operational, each with five members with bank accounts where money is regularly deposited. Each group has an elected president and secretary that manage the accounts. Loans have also become available in some of the groups. Members are happy that they do not need to borrow from money lenders and others and can approach their own organization and ask for loans as a matter of right.
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