Jayaprakash Chowdury, a wastepicker in Delhi and now Secretary of Safai Sena, an army of cleaners, was invited to be a keynote speaker at the ongoing ICCIG3- the Third International Conference for Creativity and Innovation at the Grassroots, at IIM Ahmedabad. He spoke about innovations in waste through material recovery and creating livelihoods at the Material Recovery Facility being run by Chintan at the New Delhi railway station. This project in partnership with the Northern Railways and the informal recyling sector, the waste collectors and wastepickers, has not only effectively managed the waste being generated at the New Delhi Railway Station through recovery of recyclables like paper, glass, plastic etc through segregation and further also creating compost from the organic waste, in addition has also generated safe secure stable livelihoods for 75 wastepickers.
This project at the New Delhi Railway station won Chintan and Safai Sena the prestigious Deutsche Bank Urban Age award recently. The work at the New Delhi Railway Station shows how not only can urban spaces be sustainable, inclusive and embracing of the poor, but in fact, the poor, such as the wastepickers, are germane to the safeguarding of the commons and making them more usable by all.
Jaiprakash speaking at the prestigious ICCIG 3 to a huge gathering of delegates from all over the world and to the enthusiastic students of IIM, said proudly, “we wastepickers are the city makers. We recycle the waste and make sure the city stays clean. Through sheer hard work and determination we make our voices heard. Don’t ignore us if you want to make Bharat truly Swachh.”
About Chintan and Safai Sena: Chintan is a registered NGO that works on issues of solid waste, with a focus on creating safe, clean jobs for abjectly poor wastepickers, training them to supply essential waste management services to the city. Chintan partners with Safai Sena (an organization of waste pickers, itinerant buyers and small waste traders) 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.
Harnessing Innovations for and from extreme grassroots, street vendors and other workers
Chair: Elaben Bhatt, Founder, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
Co-Chair: Pradhyuman Vyas, Director, NID, Ahmedabad
Keynotes: Jayprakash Choudhury, Secretary, Safai Sena
Chitra Mukherjee, Manager, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, Reema Nanavaty, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Dheeraj Agarwal, Developer, Street Saathi, Mumbai
Sangita Singat, Manager, Street Food Programs, National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), Indu Prakash Singh, Executive committee member, Shahri Adhikar Manch:Begharon Ke Saath (SAM:BKS)
Ashwin Parulkar, Centre for Equity Studies
RJMCEI Auditorium, IIM Ahmedabad
Date: 19-21st January, 2015
Do contact for more details:
Secretary, Safai Sena