Tarini Ramchandani a 14-year-old girl trying to help waste pickers workers live a dignified life through art, technology and innovation. While going to the school she saw people segregating the waste and she was curious to know what and how happily they work. She was in Class 2. It was her mother Raji Ajwani who took her to show the real lifestyle of these people and Tarini was surprised to see how clean these people live despite their odd job.
Art – As a medium for creating dignity for waste pickers
Tarini has created greeting cards during her Sankranti break. She has raised Rs 5000 through the sale of the cards.
“I have my mother who will take care of mine if am ill, she will prepare good food for me but what about such poor people and their kids. Thinking of these I decided to work for such people,” says Tarini Ramchandani.
Tarini’s Project Ashtami
She started Project Ashtami to create dignity for the waste pickers through art, technology and innovation. Her art work is created keeping in mind themes that are contemporary. She monetizes the art work and the proceeds are used for helping waste workers affiliated to SWACHH (https://swachcoop.com/) for procuring food and supplies.
This project has three components:
1) Art as a medium of creating awareness about the sorry plight of waste pickers
2) Organizing periodic waste collection drives in her society (the funds obtained by selling items collected during the drive are used for setting up scholarships for the waste pickers children)
3) Using technology and innovation to facilitate a better outreach program and create tools to reduce drudgery for this purpose she is currently working on a mobile app that can facilitate waste collection by linking SWACHH with prospective patrons.
Red Dot Campaign: October 2018
On October 2 2018, she organized a “Red Dot” campaign in her society (Roseland Residency) in order to sensitize residents about the importance of segregating sanitary waste and marking it with a red dot (to enable easy identification by waste pickers).
Collection Drives: October 2021 and December 2021
Covid19 has impacted waste pickers adversely. Waste pickers sell their daily waste to kabadi shops to generate cash flows to fund the groceries and other expenses. However due to the lockdown these kabadi shops were shut down. This put a severe strain on their already fragile financial position. Hence as soon as it was permitted, Tarini organized two waste collection drives in her residential society, which yielded over 2600 kgs of waste.
When asked what message she would like to give to the society Tarini says “Segregate waste and be gentle with these people as they are too humans.”
Currently she is working on a digital app, which will send a notification to the swach worker about the next pick of up waste.