On August 28th, 2013, the Ministry of Environment and Forests released the draft MSW Rules 2013 for public comments. These draft Rules are updating the original landmark Rules passed in 2000. Thirteen years later, we have learnt a lot about how to manage solid waste management programs that can clean our cities, provide jobs, and help reduce our burden on the environment. But these draft Rules have missed this incredible opportunity to apply the lessons we have learnt thus far.
On August 16, 2013, over 250 waste recyclers of Safai Sena held a protest in front of Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam office. Many of them marched over 12 kilometers despite heavy rains that day. The protest was organized to raise a collective voice against the illegal collection of money by private contractors and exploitation of waste recyclers in Kavi Nagar and Mohan Nagar zones.
On July 26, Safai Sena sent letters to New Delhi’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare in the Women and Child Department and the Delhi Commission for Women detailing what happened to the Safai Sena waste picker and her son on July 19 and calling for a number of actions and reforms. (the letters were written by Jai Prakash Choudhary, Safai Sena secretary)
Chintan celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd, in partnership with the Indian Railways at the New Delhi Railway Station. The Chintan team along with waste pickers with Safai Sena encouraged commuters to sign pledges to not litter the station and to crush plastic bottles before discarding them.
Chintan Environmental Research & Action Group and Safai Sena just released a new documentary, Credits vs Carbon Credits. The film explores the effects of large projects vying for carbon credits on the livelihoods of waste pickers.
Chintan’s new study – Give Back our Waste: What the Okhla waste-to-energy plant has done to local wastepickers
In March 2007, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) released a Performance Audit of Management of Waste in India. Amongst his observations, one was related to the lack of recognition of the informal sector. The report stated, “Only 17 percent of the sampled states had recognized the role of the wastepickers.”