The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SWaCH, a waste pickers’ cooperative for door to door collection in Maharashtra (India) has been renewed by General Body of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Highlights of New Proposal:
- Waste picker Members of SWaCH will be providing door to door waste collection service to entire city. Currently they are collecting waste from 400,000 households.
- SWaCH will be paid administrative charges amounting upto INR 32,000,000 each year with 5% escalation each year. For SWaCH it means that the staff will be paid comfortably.
- SWaCH is also allowed to retain its office and more office space shall be provided in different administrative wards of the city.
- SWaCH shall also be supported for training and outreach by the Municipal body.
- Waste pickers will receive equipment – pushcarts, buckets, raincoats, scarves, sunglasses. They will also receive Rs 600/year for maintenance of equipment.
- Monthly charges per household has been increased to Rs 50 and Rs 30 for slums. Waste pickers who are servicing slums will get a Rs 10/household subsidy from the PMC to augment their lower earnings there.
- All wastepicker members of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtkari Panchayat (KKPKP) and SWaCH will be entitled to welfare benefits including health insurance, education support etc.
One of SWaCH’s demands had been that waste pickers must receive what was promised in the previous MOU (2008-13) period. The PMC has lapsed on welfare benefits, providing equipment on time in past. This was also part of the proposal and was thus passed. Many waste picker members of SWaCH will be entitled for a payment of upto INR 6500 which will be paid prior to starting the new MOU.
Inputs from Malati Gadgil.