Delhi CM Provides Manual Scavengers With 200 Sewer Cleaning Vehicles; Turns Them Into ‘Sani-Entrepreneurs’

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The Delhi government on Thursday provided 200 skilled manual scavengers with sewer cleaning vehicles, turning them into ‘sani-entrepreneurs’.

The Kejriwal government took the laudable step in an effort to rid the capital city of the menace of manual scavenging. Terming the event as ‘historic’, CM Arvind Kejriwal emphasised on the need to secure a life of dignity for everyone. “These machines will put an end to the practice of sanitation workers entering manholes and septic tanks for cleaning,” Kejriwal mentioned in his speech at the inauguration event.

Giving a life of dignity

Speaking to Efforts For Good, an official from Delhi Jal Board informs, “We have allotted the machines to around 192 families who used to practise manual scavenging and were in dire need of rehabilitation work after government legally prohibited the practice. We identified the families who have suffered casualties, injuries or other mishaps due to manual scavenging.”

“Delhi is the first state in India where such a progressive step was enacted for uplifting these underprivileged families,” he adds.

Rajendra Pal Gautam, Minister of SC-ST Welfare, said that the Delhi government has always been committed to working towards effective upliftment of the lesser privileged Scheduled Caste people, and this step was another indicator of the same.

How the machine works

The technology has been developed by Delhi Jal Board engineers Bhupesh Kumar and V.K. Grover who designed compact vehicles fitted with machinery for quick, hassle-free and effective cleaning of sewers. The vehicles will be operated by the 200 manual scavengers who were beneficiaries of the scheme.

“The machines comprise all the essential types of equipment for sewer cleaning including machinery for hydraulic, jetting, grabbing and roding work. Manholes up to 30 feet depth can be properly cleaned up and all the residue sewage waste will be brought out to a trolley and disposed of in a sustainable manner. This is an international technology and has been implemented for the first time in India. The vehicles are small, not more than 14 feet in height, which will enable them to penetrate narrow lanes as well. These vehicles will be deployed on-ground within the next few days,” states an official from Delhi Jal Board.

Delhi Jal Board CEO Anil Kumar Singh said that the machines will allow the board to ensure even the sewage in the congested lanes of the city is cleaned regularly.

Efforts For Good take

Manual scavenging is perhaps the most inhuman practice existing even in 2019. Not only is it hazardous and risky, but the work is also highly degrading. The manual scavengers face the worst form of social discrimination for generations and are deprived of their basic human rights. The Delhi government’s step has definitely set a benchmark for the rest of India to follow. Efforts For Good hopes all manual scavengers get the chance to lead a life of dignity and respect.


Also Read: Delhi Govt Launches Bike Ambulances For Faster Emergency Response In Congested Areas

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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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