Janvikas Indore

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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.

  1. Cooperative Society: 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 2300 women members who are either waste pickers or domestic workers. 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. Waste recycling is the source of livelihood for a large number of families in Indore. By introducing the positive program for marketing the waste materials in the recycling process will increase the earning of the waste pickers, add to the economic development of the country and safeguard the environment protection of the urban surrounding. The cooperative movement empowers women waste pickers to join hands with the government and other non-government organizations, and business concerns to run the income generating activities and become active stakeholders of the recycling sector.
  2. Self Help Groups:  Self Help Groups of women belonging to unorganized sector are formed in different slums. Small groups of 12-15 women form a group who come together every month to discuss about various issues related to them and also do regular savings.
  3. Slum Development Committees: Slum Development Committees are formed in slums to make people more responsible and to promote leadership qualities in them. Women members participate in the regular meetings and discuss issues of their area and make plans to resolve them.
  4. Training and Capacity Building: Capacity building of rag pickers are done through regular meetings, trainings on Leadership, RTI (Right to Information), RTE (Right to Education), Government Schemes, Health and Hygiene etc.

Empowerment of Youth:

The project aims at organizing the youth in slums of Indore city.  A group of twenty youth are formed into ‘Youth Club’ in each of the slums. The youth are motivated through training and capacity building programs to develop leadership qualities in them. Through various interventions they are capacitated to analyze their social situations and to respond positively to the needs of their community they live.  Overall aim of the project is to make the youth responsible citizens and become change agents of the society.

Health and Hygiene:

The unhygienic living conditions and working situations make women who are engaged in waste picking vulnerable to many sicknesses. Waste pickers’ bodies and clothes are routinely exposed to contamination from bacteria and potentially toxic chemicals. The prevalence of fires at dumps exposes waste pickers to respiratory problems associated with smoke inhalation, coughs, breathing problems, headaches, and fatigue. Poverty and lack of access to basic health provisions make rag pickers prone to various diseases.

Women rag pickers are assisted with training in health and hygiene issues.  The project helps them to understand the necessity of hygienic living and need to live a healthy life.  Awareness and training helps them to deal with HIV/AIDS. Regular health check-ups and medical camps are conducted at slum level and medicines are provided free of cost.