Who we serve

22,500

informal waste pickers in Bengaluru
Who are informal waste pickers?
Street waste collectors, itinerant buyers, and sorters in scrap shops and dry waste collection centres in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) region. They are a vital part of any city's waste management system.

8,000

waste picker families  worked with, reaching about 32,000 people in the community
What is the problem?
Despite their massive economic and environmental contribution - they collect, sort, and send forward waste that can be recycled -waste pickers and their families, particularly the women and children, struggle to lead healthy and productive lives.

2.6 mln

Residents in Bengaluru reached by “Invaluables” campaign
Challenges
Low wages, hazardous working conditions, discrimination and negative societal perception. poor access to quality housing, education, healthcare, and water and sanitation services.

Why waste pickers

do the honors,
hover over the images!

Stigma
31% of the general population in Bengaluru hold a strong stigma  against waste pickers
Low Income
Waste pickers earn an average daily income of INR 300-500. Only 5% of this community is linked to a formal financial institution
Education
Most waste pickers are either uneducated (54%) or have lower primary levels of education (20%)
Gender disparity
49% of waste pickers are women; they earn up to 33% less for the same work, face domestic violence
Limited upward mobility
63% are not aware of alternative jobs; 30% do not have voter cards and 80% do not have ration cards

Our aim

Higher, stable income
Waste-picker families have higher, more stable incomes
Equity
Women, girls and other vulnerable groups have equitable access to all outcomes of the programme
Career
transition pathways
Waste pickers have the ability to move to alternative professions if they wish to
Support
system
Establish support systems for survivors of violence and substance abuse among waste-picker families
Improved
working conditions
Waste pickers have safer working conditions
Access to
affordable services
Waste-picker families access affordable and quality services enabled by the public sector and private sector
Respect and recognition
People of Bengaluru recognise and respect the value of waste picking

How we do it

Alternative
livelihood options

Through vocational training, life skills, financial literacy programs and entrepreneurship support

Perception
change

To improve professional pride among waste pickers and to encourage Bengaluru’s general population to respect and value waste picking

Access to
government schemes

Helping waste pickers and families apply for and access social security schemes and benefits such as housing and loans

Quality
education

Improving access to education and learning resources for waste pickers’ children

Clean water,
toilets

To ensure access to water and sanitation facilities - toilets, clean drinking water - for waste-picker homes

Counseling

Programs to raise awareness on the ills of substance abuse and to reduce the incidence of domestic violence; set up support systems for survivors

Safety and
equipment

Redesign equipment to improve working conditions of waste pickers, supporting start-ups that are working on innovative waste solutions

Gender and equity

Women and girls in waste picker families are particularly vulnerable as they are disproportionately impacted by the challenges faced by waste pickers, including, low income, dangerous working conditions, discrimination, lack of access to good healthcare, clean toilets and safe water.
We ask waste pickers what their concerns are, seek to address them, and hold ourselves accountable; we ensure waste pickers' voices are included when developing a common agenda for all our partners We also focus, in a big way, on gender mainstreaming activities. Gender equity is a foundational base for all of our interventions

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