Delhi Rag Pickers - Conservation for the Oceans Foundation

Leonard Sonnenschein,
World Aquarium and Conservation for the
Oceans Foundation
Prabhjot Sodhi, National
GEF Small Grants Program,
United Nations Development Program,
Centre for Environment Education
 Increasing urban migration
 High density of population
 Lack of waste management infrastructure
 Waste picking
 Sorting
 Recycling
 Door to door collection
 Rag pickers are individuals with no rights. They have a
difficult life, working hard to clean the cities. They recycle
wastes that they collect. They are mostly ignored by the
government and are harassed by the police, even being put
into jail for no reason.
 Rag pickers union
2,000 members representing 2,000 families (6,000 people)
Local identification
Health care
Community recognition
Registration for community partner for recyclables
The city of Bhopal, consisting of 70 urban wards and a
population of two million people, generates 420-460
tons of waste daily. The waste is dumped at Bhanpur
Kanti, the local dump. This excess waste generation is
exacerbated by the people’s habit of littering. Rag
pickers and garbage dealers aide in the recycling of the
city’s plastics through its resale to cement factories
who use plastics as fuel. This project, which started in
2010, has been funded by UNDP’s Small Grants
Programme for its prevention of pollutants.
1. Education: Getting children admitted to Delhi government schools and keeping them there.
2. Health camps: Utilizing public resources and volunteers, these create awareness of hygiene, sanitation and provide
some basic health care. 91 women and children were immunized in one camp. 225 people had their eyes examined and
treated in another. 70 people were provided free check ups and medicines in another camp. The beneficiaries also
contribute by providing for tables, chairs, tea, refreshments, etc.
3. Women’s Self Help Groups: Three SHGs, Shakti, Muskan and Lakshya, have been set up in the three busties. Each
member saves Rs. 200 per month. Savings accounts have been set up with the banks.
4. Vocational Training (Rangpuri Pahari): 24 women are learning sewing. There are plans to start training for making
candles and for turning waste materials into bags, baskets, coasters, etc.
5. Scholarships: Got the state to grant Rs.1000 scholarships to 39 children of rag pickers.
6. Family Planning: Women are provided input and access to various options. Fellows have facilitated tubal ligations in
those desiring such intervention.
7. Life insurance for the rag pickers. Also, getting the government to subsidize half of the Rs. 200 premium.
8. Anganwadis: Pressure the government to set up these welfare centers for the children and women.
9. Shelters for the homeless: Fellows helped petition the Supreme Court that resulted in the Court directing the Delhi
government for setting up homeless shelters during the extreme winter. Against the court directed requirement of one
shelter for every 1,00,000 people, Delhi had only nine! The Fellows were instrumental in getting 84 such shelters of
which one (Nilothi Extension) is actually managed by the Fellow, Parmod Kumar.
10. Slum Clearance: During the Commonwealth games, Fellows brought together various NGOs to ensure that
adequate alternative facilities were provided during the slum clearance drive.
11. Emergency assistance: The Fellows are often involved in helping individual rag pickers such as getting their
confiscated rickshaws released, providing legal support when they are unfairly picked up by the police and raising
funds during times of need such as death, severe illness, etc.
 Youth Voices in Conservation’s GreenLeaf Program
 The intent of CEE in the partnership with the Youth
Voices in Conservation Program is:
1) To involve, inspire youth to get involved in local and
global ecological and conservation initiatives for the
purpose of protecting the environment and learning
about those environments; and
2) To establish a marketplace to create, measure, self
certify and store carbon credits generated by localized
community actions and then convert them into services
and goods for use by the communities that created the
savings in the first place.
 Started In: 1978
 Total Projects: 200
 Average Grant Amount: 100,000
 SGP will normally consider grants up to USD 50,000
for each project. In special cases, where co-financing
commitments are more, slightly higher budgets may
be considered, if the project activities justify this. More
emphasis is placed on leveraging local contributions
in-cash and in-kind from communities.
 GreenLeaf Program distribution of funding for future needs
 Examples (send e-mails to project leaders to get examples of future
 The GEF SGP in India is implemented country wide as a Full Scale
Project (FSP). The proposals for accessing the grants needs to be
submitted by Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and
Community based organizations (CBOs) and the Non- profit
Organization as per the template to the respective regional offices of
the CEE.
 The GEF SGP program anchored through the National Project Manager
(NPM) of the SGP based in New Delhi is supported through a more
decentralized system of Regional Offices of CEE in order to reach out
locally to the remote, un-reached and inaccessible poor degraded areas
of the country, forest tribal communities by the national parks,
protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries etc. It aims to provide a
countrywide coverage and to also address the local issues and national
priorities more appropriately.
Completely privatized centralized systems
Decentralized local community-based initiatives
 Plastic Waste Management, check burning of waste
plastics and Increased Livelihood of Rag Pickers in 5
Wards of Bhopal Municipal Cooperation
 Develop a sustainable system of proper waste management in
5 wards of Bhopal, ensuring the burning of waste.
 Develop a public- private partnership model of waste
 Increase socio- economic status of 400 rag pickers families.
 Establishing vermicomposting, plastic waste collection units.
Arbind Singh, Executive Director, Nidan (SGP –India partner) won the Social Entrepreneur of the
Year Award 2008 in India · Nidan is developing sustainable businesses, cooperatives, trade unions
and “people's institutions” led by the most excluded categories of the poor in Bihar ·In India, the
Social Entrepreneur Year of the Award is an initiative of The Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation and the
Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in collaboration with the UNDP. Nidan is developing
sustainable businesses, cooperatives, trade unions and “people's institutions” led by the most
excluded categories of the poor in Bihar. It has promoted and built 20 independent profit-making
ventures governed and owned by the urban poor including waste workers, ragpickers, vegetable
vendors, construction labourers, domestic helpers, micro-farmers, street traders and other
marginalized occupation groups
Mr. Arbind Singh, Director, Nidaan, Patna, made a presentation on ‘A systems sustainable business
model approach to waste management’. The success story of his organization in Patna is because of
the full support of the Municipal Corporation. Solid waste management can be sustainable only by
promoting the livelihoods of ragpickers, who are the backbone of the system. The positive outcome of
the initiative in Patna was that the image of the ragkpickers had changed. The organization has
initiated quality education programs for children and this has decreased the involvement of children
in ragpicking. The residents are willing to pay the ragpickers in Patna. Problems did exist in terms of
late payments from the Municipal Corporation or dearth of land for recycling of waste however they
were all temporary in nature. Making a direct link with the main agencies recycling waste has helped
decrease the middle man in the recycling of dray waste and has directly contributed to increasing the
income of the ragpickers.
no focal area
International Waters
Persistent Organic…
Multifocal Area
Land Degradation
Multifocal Area
Climate Change
 Addresses localized sustainability issues as well as
provide a methodology for decreasing carbon
footprints and increasing financial sustain abilities
within each community and consequent
environmental effects from the wide scale adoption of
these plans may be expected
 Creates a conditional exchange program based on
carbon credits enables a higher probability of project
Changing the Future of
Planet Earth
Project Coordinator:
701 North 15th Street, 2nd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63103 USA
[email protected]
 WHO? Charles Orgbon III
• Elementary and high school students doing conservation actions
such as:
o creating a recycling web site
o creating the Earth Savers Club
o tree planting
o composting
o reusing, reducing, and recycling at school.
o Began a “Green Living Newsletter” that was sent home to each
family once a month. The newsletter featured articles about how
to reduce energy, water, and waste consumption.
WHO? Jamila Patterson
The Tuticorin coast on the southeastern coast of India is biologically important area with
resources like corals, mangroves, seagrasses, pearl oyster beds etc and is in the Gulf of
Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve and northern part of the coast is under Gulf of Mannar
Marine National Park Area (Marine Protected Area).
Total active fishermen are 85,000 and total length of the coast is 163.5 km. 23 fishing villages
are located along the coast.
The one day workshop was in September, 2010. The lectures are 1. Global Warming – an
introduction; and 2. Climate change and its implications on marine environment. The
workshop was attended by over 1,000 students and 20 teachers.
WHO? Margaret Akinyi Demba
• Chiromo Environmnetal Awareness Club
which focuses on environmental education,
environmental monitoring and
environmental activities.
WHO? Andrew Savenko
Due to the deterioration of ecological conditions in Minsk from an increase in number of
vehicles and industry enterprises. Thus, it is necessary to define the most polluted areas and
sources of pollution for possible further solutions of a problem. Belarus is a «green» islet in
the center of Europe, therefore it is very important to keep its ecosystem natural.
Conducts research for the purpose of:
 To develop and put into practice a new effective method of bioindication
 To conduct ecological research and to create an ecological map of one of Minsk
districts with the help of the developed method of lichenoindication;
 The aim of a theoretical part of my work is development of completely new technique
of lichenoindication. The practical part consists of two aims. The first- conducting
ecological researches of air condition in Minsk districts using the developed
technique, and the second- drawing up an ecological map of Minsk districts on the
basis of the conducted researches.
WHO? Iakop Ioanis
•The Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) Education and Awareness Program works
with all the residents of Pohnpei to educate the islanders about the importance of our
surrounding environment and encourages the residents in conservation activities.
•Implemented the Youth Environmental Ambassadors Club (YEA Club) for all high
school students (9-12grades) in the school year 2004-2005.
•YEA Club Activities: presentations on environmental issues in Pohnpei; doing
awareness messages on the island radio station; picking up trash; participate in coral
identification, forest and fish monitoring; GPS techniques; exploration of Marine
Protected Areas; learning about Watershed Forest Reserves, Ethno botany, bird
surveys; and hiking Nahnalaud the highest mountain in Pohnpei.
WHO? Justin Damian
TECSEDA is a small development Non Governmental Organization
fromTanzania, East Africa. TECSEDA was established in 2008 by youths.
Activities focus on grassroot communities aimed at environmental conservation,
social and economic development.
In view of the above, environmentally we support in the maintenance of the
healthy ecosystems and natural environment that provides sustainable benefits
for the present and future generations of both local and international
community who also understand and actively care for its biodiversity and
ecological integrity.
We assist the government to deal with environmental problems especially by
building the capacity of local people on how they can participate in conservation
of natural resources.
WHO? Sunitha Rajeev & Mary Teresa Miranda
The coastal waters of the maritime states are under the constant threat of pollution from a number of sources including the
shoreline, especially in Kerala.
Kerala is now a developing state and on her way towards being an industrialized one by the year 2020, most of her industries and
urban areas are located on the coastal region. In addition, the offshore area of the coast is a busy shipping lane. These two
phenomena make the intertidal and offshore areas of the coast of Kerala interesting for scientific studies in Southern Kerala as
an environmental hotspot.
Veli coast is heavily polluted by industrial effluents and sewage, making them unfit for survival of marine life based on a report
by KSCSTE(Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment). The report states that the aquatic environment in the
near-shore region is endangered by the presence of heavy metals in industrial effluents. The near-shore region was found to be
devoid of fish species. Primary productivity of marine species showed a marked decrease.
The worst pollution is up to 5 km from the coast. Increased sewage dumping is a major cause for pollution of the near-shore
waters of the southwest coast. Besides, tonnes of garbage has been washed up on the beach from Valiaveli to Thumba in the city,
raising a stench and posing a health hazard to people living in the coastal belt.
 Youth education
 Public awareness via the Low Carbon Lifestyles model
 Encouraging green lifestyles and business practices in
tandem with green education and public awareness brings
a holistic approach to each society impacted and tends to
have long-term results.
 Environmental Project types include: biodiversity
conservation, climate change mitigation, protection of
fisheries, prevention of land degradation (primarily
desertification and deforestation), and elimination of
persistent organic pollutants through community-based
 Identify the stakeholders and develop and define their roles
and responsibilities, keep evolving the processes which enable
the same.
 Involve, institutionalize the local rag pickers and link them to
social security measures, giving them equal dignity and
respect among the society and relieve them from the title of
waste scavengers.
 Segregate, collect, transfer, re-segregate, using the principles
of reduce, reuse, recycle and reprocess the remains which
cannot be recycled and have to go to landfills. The aim is to
reduce the landfills.
 Ensure that the waste reprocessing units are handled by the
local rag pickers and their skills, knowledge and practices are
enhanced. The products manufactured by local rag pickers
need to be linked to markets.
 We have certified and verified credits for corporations
that require carbon offset credits as part of their
business practice.
 Purchasing these carbon offset credits can produce a
significant public relations boost.
 Each major carbon offset credit purchaser will get
special promotional recognition from the
Conservation for the Oceans Foundation’s Youth
Voices in Conservation’s GreenLeaf Program.
 We also have verified carbon credits for third-party verified voluntary carbon
offset credits supporting the implementation of small projects to improve:
Climate Change Adaptation
Tree Planting
Biogas Generation
Reduction of Persistent Organic Pollutants
Energy Conservation (i.e. use less gasoline, electric power, etc.)
Cleaner Cookstoves
Rainwater Gardens
Create a home gardens
Improved local food distribution
Organic foods production
Support others who engage in the Low Carbon Lifestyles including schools
 These credit purchases are to help continue the sustainability of these projects.
 Other countries worldwide such as Nepal, Brazil,
Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Egypt, South Africa,
Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand
have these types of projects. Although the Youth
Voices in Conservation project is starting in India, the
program can easily be replicated in other regions of
the world.
 Where there are communities that lack infrastructure
for waste management, there are possibilities of
working with groups that can benefit from recycling
wastes in an organized way that can provide income
generation, waste processing and recycling at the same
time. In working with these community partners, it is
clear that providing benefits such as health care,
education, access to water, and sanitation can provide
sustainability for these groups.
 We are currently seeking interested buyers of 1,041,916
carbon offset credits.
For more information, please contact
World Aquarium and
Conservation for the Oceans
701 N. 15th Street, 2nd Floor
St. Louis, MO 63103
[email protected]
Prabhjot Sodhi,
GEF Small Grants Program,
United Nations Development Program,
Centre for Environment Education
C-40, South Extension II
New Delhi 110049. Ph 00 91 11 26262878,
[email protected]

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