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Written by Chintan/Safai Sena


Country India

April 22, 2014



Chintan in partnership with the Indian Railways is celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd, 2014 at the New Delhi Railway Station.

The celebration will include two themes. First, visitors on platform 16 from 2 pm to 5 pm will be requested to take a pledge to use the bins and stop littering the platform and tracks. Wastepickers from Safai Sena and Chintan team members will answer their questions about waste and recycling. In addition, we would also be making public announcements of the event over the public address system at the station and organizing a short nukkad natak. School children will also be doing interviews of the railway officials and quizzing them about cleanliness of platforms.

Over the last 5 years Chintan, an environmental research and action group, has been working in partnership with the Indian Railways to keep the railway stations at New Delhi, Old Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar, clean and dirt free.
Chintan collects waste from all the trains as they arrive on the platform, provides liners for bins on platforms and collects the waste before it spills out. This helps the platform stay clean, despite being crowded. The waste is taken to a Material Recovery Facility where it is segregated into various categories. The PET bottles are cut to avoid any refilling and misuse. Finally, the segregated waste is taken to a bigger facility outside the stations; from there it is further segregated by a team and from there, for recycling.

Chintan has trained over 700 waste pickers in the last 5 years to collect, segregate and recycle the waste. Each month over 20 tons of waste is collected from across the four stations by nearly 100 waste pickers. Chintan has provided wastepickers with uniforms and I-Cards and created green jobs for them. The wastepickers work seven days a week to make sure the trains are clean and the bins are not over flowing and unsanitary.

Through this unique partnership of Chintan, Indian Railways is able to handle its waste, reduce pollution, create safe livelihood opportunities for the poor and make the railway stations greener.

Chintan hopes that observing the Earth day would be a great source of inspiration to every visitor and encourage them to think of their role in keeping the station clean and thinking about the efforts the Railways have put into recycling.
About Chintan: Chintan partners with the informal recycling sector, such as wastepickers and kabaris, to clean up cities, recycle more efficiently and create livelihoods for wastepickers. As a result, it is also able to help children picking trash to go to school, as families earn steadier incomes.

Event Details:
Location: New Delhi Railway Station, Platform 16. India.
Date: April 22nd, 2014
Time: 2-5 pm