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CARE India

Our role in
Saamuhika Shakti

CARE India works to provide waste pickers with the skills they need to pursue alternative livelihoods if they so desire.

What we do

To enable waste pickers to find alternative livelihood options - either within the waste management value chain or outside it. CARE India works to improve waste pickers' knowledge of saving money, opening bank accounts, learning basic computer functions and expanding their digital literacy. Many waste pickers have started small businesses using the skills they pick up at the training sessions.

How we do it

CARE India conducts three levels of life skills training - starting with soft skills, progressing to digital and financial literacy, and finally to entrepreneurship development. CARE India also helps waste picker communities, particularly women, form collectives and access government schemes created for small entrepreneurs.
Collectivization helps waste pickers develop leadership and management skills and interpersonal relationships, understand saving and investment, learn and explore government schemes and services that may benefit them, and apply as a group for loans that will help them set up enterprises.

Activities and impact

From the start of the project until February 2022, nearly 4,000 waste pickers have been trained across the three life skills programs run by CARE India
After the training, many participants have shown interest in splitting their time between waste picking and income sources - such as creating handicrafts and baskets from trash, making and selling herbal soaps/oils/perfumes, setting up vegetable carts, grocery stores, tiffin and tea stalls, selling jewellery, rearing goats, driving and joining other short-term courses like tailoring, crochet toy-making and so on.
A total of 1,153 waste pickers have joined or started collectives; 18 collectives have been approved under the National Urban Livelihood Mission and 15 others have started lending money internally to help each other start small businesses.

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