[Reader-list] The Journey of Shillong’s Waste-pickers to become Compost Suppliers to Meghalaya Raj Bhawan

Kabir Khan kabirkhan1989 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 05:06:53 CST 2018

Journey of Shillong’s Waste-pickers to become Compost Suppliers to
Meghalaya Raj Bhawan

*Guest-post by Iainehskhem Self-Help Group, Shillong *

In a long while, we sometimes come across change-makers in society from
simple unassuming persons. This is a story of a few hitherto unknown
persons who collected bits and pieces of discarded waste items from Marten
Dumping yard to fend for themselves and their families. They collected all
items that may have some economic value and stored them and sold to scrap
dealers for a price. The daily routine of rummaging the city’s waste to
pick up different items of little value goes on throughout the year. They
must often work with their bare hands with little or nothing to protect
them from imminent health hazards. These women have come up the hard way
who worked tirelessly for hours to sustain themselves and their families.
They are still grateful for the meagre income they get from the recyclables
they manage to pick and sold them for a mite.

Under the North Eastern Regional Capital City Development Investment
Programme (NERCCDIP), State Investment Planning Management and
Implementation Unit (SIPMIU), urban affairs department and SMB have
developed a plan to rehabilitate the women and facilitated the formation of
the Iainehskhem Self-Help Group (SHG), in November 2014 with the objective
to enhance the livelihood of women waste pickers. The group has become a
replicable model for villages and town colonies where decentralised waste
management can be implemented.

*A*fter getting trained the women group has shown that they can make full
use of their learnt skills. The members of the SHG became cohesive after
much hand-holding and training organised by the Community Team of the
NERCCDIP. The group has framed their own rules and regulations and it has
become cohesive with a strong Team Spirit. They truly uphold the dignity of
labour and happily go about their work of composting, so much so they have
come to be known as “Merry Maidens of Marten” for their sense of happiness,
unity, and cooperation.

Slowly their interest in making use of the waste item emerged through a few
training sessions that were organised for the members. They have started
monthly saving from the meagre income they get from waste picking. They
have launched a project to compost the biodegradable waste with a simple
indigenous technique of composting. Through the constant encouragement from
SIPMIU staff and the simple technology shared with them by Bethany Society
(NGO), these women have become champions of green economy and green-jobs.
The SHG has already produced about 7000kgs of compost manure that was
tested by the Department of Agriculture Laboratory and certified that the
manure is good for plants. Another test from the ICAR laboratory has
re-confirmed that the organic manure is suitable for plants. The compost
products are produced from an indigenous Trench Composting technology,
perfected by the SHG, is a FIRST in the North Eastern Region. Continued



Email: kabir.postbox at gmail.com
Follow me on:
Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/KaafirMasiha>, blog
<http://maleccha.wordpress.com/> & Twitter <https://twitter.com/Maleccha>




More information about the reader-list mailing list