Swatcha Self Help Group and Sri. Chowdeshwari Self Help Group have been formed in Dry Waste Collection Centre, Bellandur, consisting of 9 and 10 members each.

Initially formation of those groups was a bit challenging as the Community Resource Persons (CRP) immediately did not get cooperation from the operator of the DWCC for group formation. The CRPs made the operators understand the present rules laid down by BBMP (where the emphasis is more on groups running DWCCs and not individuals) along with several other benefits of group formation like internal lending, savings etc. With repeated visits and rapport building and convincing, CARE India team was successful in forming the groups.

In the beginning, it was proposed to form a single group, but later two groups were formed since most of the members were from the same family. They attended Governance and Management training that enhanced their knowledge about the functioning of the groups and were oriented about basic rules and regulations for smooth functioning and regularly taken part in the group weekly meetings with a lot of enthusiasm. They also started saving INR 50 every week that gradually increased to INR 100 within a span of four months.

In September, the members, as a group, decided upon internal lending among the group members and two of them were given a loan of INR 10,000 and INR 5,000 each respectively from the collective savings.

Mr. Ramachandra, who received the loan said, “Though I own a vehicle for collecting waste, I was struggling as I did not have enough money to get it repaired. Now, with the help of this loan I will repair the vehicle and start collecting waste efficiently. I am happy to be part of the Collective.”

Mr. Divakar who is expecting his first child shared that “The loan will support me to take care of my wife’s delivery which otherwise would not have been possible. I am thankful to all the members who trusted in me and helped me to get access to this loan”

Mr. Vishwanath, Program Manager, HasiruDala was impressed with the functioning of this group and said, “I have never seen such collaboration and participation among the workers in the Dry Waste Collection Centers so far. This is definitely a great beginning”

About the Program: ‘Saamuhika Shakti – In Solidarity with Waste Pickers’ is working to improve the quality of life of 4,000 informal waste pickers and their families in Bengaluru. Waste pickers are one of the most marginalised sections of the society. With the support from H&M Foundation, project ensure that waste pickers have secured and dignified alternative livelihood options.

Posted by: Sagaya Shanthi

Location: Bellandur, Karnataka