Janvikas Society » ACTIVITIES » Empowerment

Empowerment of Women Rag Pickers:

Waste picking women form the most marginalized group among the unorganized workers. An estimated number of over 8000 families in Indore earn their livelihood from waste picking. And three times the numbers of people depend on allied activities with the waste collection and the waste recycling trade. They include the rag-picking women, itinerant buyers, small traders and middle-men, stockiest, workers at the small and medium sorting units, recycling factories and the dealers of the end products. Thus Janvikas has been working with the waste picking women, to mobilize them under the banner of a recognized organization, wherein they would gain from the collective strength and get the privileges of a registered body.

Women Empowerment Activities:-

  • With the concern for women-empowerment, Janvikas started to work with the waste picking women. This led to the formation of a cooperative society of unorganized women laborers called “Sarvodya Sramik Mahila Cooperative society Ltd” which has over 2400 women waste pickers as members.  The cooperative Society has designed welfare schemes for the benefits of its members, like emergency loan at low rate of interest, Group insurance, Social security schemes, Small saving schemes with attractive interest and   guidance for better Entrepreneurship etc.Self Help Groups:

    Besides cooperative society, women are organized as Self Help Groups (SHGs) with 12-20 members in each group.  Self Help Groups provide women a platform to come together to discuss their issues, support each other and also promote saving of their income in a small scale.  There are 40 such groups with over 450 women members.

    Civil Society Organization (CSOs):

    Civil Society Organisations include both women and men in the slums who are formed as a group to make them responsible citizens who discuss their issues of the locality and try to solve it networking with government agencies.  CSOs also take up Human Rights issues when their rights are denied as citizens of the country.

    Youth Clubs:

    Youth are the most vulnerable sections of the society especially in slums who need constant assistance and guidance at their adolescent age. Janvikas organizes youth in the slums and gives rise to Youth Clubs to make them responsible citizens for social change.  Through youth clubs, members are provided with leadership training, career guidance, development of communication skills etc.  The members of the youth club meet every month to discuss the issues pertaining to youth and take up issues of the particular slum and try to solve them. The youth organizes free eye check-up camps for the elderly, plant trees on World Environment Day etc.

    Health and Hygiene 

    Women and children in the slums who are engaged in Rag Picking are exposed to hazardous life situations as they deal with all kinds of waste materials (plastic, paper, metal, glass etc).  They also face the problem of non-accessibility to medical facilities and are unable to afford the expensive medical treatment.  Janvikas provides medical assistance to such people in the slums through regular medical camps with the help of a professional doctor and medicines are provided free of cost.

    Awareness Creation and Educative Programme:-Meetings, trainings and workshops for women members of the cooperative are arranged to educate the members about concept of cooperative movement. Such meetings are used to create awareness on the issues like education, health, hygiene, child marriage, child labor, drug addiction, alcoholism, and domestic violence etc. They are also told about their contribution in solid waste management.