Location: Jawaharlal Nehru Yuva Kendra, Haridwar
Aviral Commences Training Of Municipal Waste Staff In Haridwar As Part Of Its Aim To Improve Occupational Safety For Waste Workers
Eight municipal waste workers a.k.a Safai Mitr took part in the first capacity-building training session organized by Team Aviral in Haridwar. The training highlighted the necessity of source waste-segregation and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safeguarding worker safety, while incorporating insights of the Safai Mitr about infrastructural improvements necessary for achieving the goal of a clean Ganga.
A capacity-building session, held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Yuva Kendra, Haridwar, was organized for municipal waste workers from the pilot wards of Project Aviral on 26th February and lasted for a duration of two hours. After screening a film on Project Aviral to familiarize the workers on the Project's potential impact on Ganga and the city of Haridwar, the team shared a presentation highlighting the necessity of source-waste segregation during collection and transportation, the recovery of resources from dry waste, and the positive impacts of using PPE on worker health. The aim of the training session was also to help cultivate pride in the workers for the essential jobs that they perform for society.
The training session was received enthusiastically and the Safai Mitr shared the insights they had gained while working on the ground. According to them, areas that need improvement include awareness about source segregation among the city’s residents, who also at times do not pay waste-collection fees. Additionally, the designs of primary collection vehicles need revamping as they lack a partition to support segregation. The vehicles themselves need urgent replacement as they are old and frequently break down, and the costs of repairing these are personally borne by the workers, adding to their financial burden. The workers asked for the installation and clearing of more bins at the secondary aggregation point to prevent overspilling.
Finally, on the welfare front, the Safai Mitr recommended that gloves, caps, shoes, raincoats, and masks be included as PPE. They also highlighted the need of social security benefits such as employee provident fund and state insurance which would enable them to perform their duties efficiently. The training was highly successful in generating action points moving forward, and Project Aviral seeks to incorporate the suggestions of the workers in its mission of a clean Haridwar and Ganga.