A Bengaluru based social enterprise is one of four finalists’ for the Waislitz Global Citizen Award 2017. Saahas Zero Waste, which introduced holistic waste management solutions, has been part of the waste eco-space in Bengaluru since 2001.
The Waislitz Global Citizen Award is a prestigious award presented annually by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen and recognises innovations in Poverty Alleviation. Recipients are selected based on individual merit in four key areas of glo bal citizenship, impact, innovation, and potential. Previous winners have worked in the space of education, health, and sanitation.
Global Citizen is a social action platform to enable people to solve the world’s biggest challenges. After launching in India last year, the organisation caught India’s attention through The Global Citizen India Festival where Coldplay performed in Mumbai. The movement has also attracted celebrity support. Priyanka Chopra, Aamir Khan, and Farhan Akthar are ambassadors, all of whom who are cheering on solutions for problems like poverty, sanitation, health, education, waste etc.
Amongst all the metro cities in India, Bengaluru is one of the first cities to proactively support segregation of waste and source with a destination for different waste streams. The city and its citizens strongly believe in the Zero Waste model that can convert 90% of waste to resources and also creates a circular economy. At a time when the country is campaigning for a Swachh Bharat, the citizens of the city are showing the way in which we can achieve this.
In fact, many cities across India are adopting the 2 bin, 1 bag system that became a household term in Bangalore a few years ago. This innovation and willingness to embrace change make this city progressive.
Saahas Zero Waste, through its business model currently manages 25 tonnes of waste per day and employees more than 200 people from low income households. The company works with bulk generators including tech-parks like RMZ and Divyasree and large apartment complexes to manage waste within the campus in which it is. The rules in place and enforced here help motivate organisations to handle their waste responsibly. This also helps to create safe, dignified and reliable careers for people who might otherwise have to rely on informal or unstable work.
Says Wilma Rodrigues, CEO, Saahas Zero Waste, “The award will bring global recognition for the Zero Waste approach. When we work with a Tech Park or any bulk generator, we manage waste as close to the source in which it is generated. This closed loop approach is operationally intensive. It requires qualified professionals as well as a workforce with medium to low skills. Given the large volumes of waste that need to be managed – the sector has excellent potential to create jobs at various levels. If Saahas Zero Waste wins the award, we will look to use the recognition for scaling up our operations as also to introducing better technology that will support less manual handling of waste and bring better working conditions for the workforce.”
Click here to vote for Wilma Rodrigues.
Learn more about Saahas Zero Waste: saahaszerowaste.com