Hasiru Dala is a membership based non-profit organization of waste pickers and other informal waste workers. Hasiru Dala strives to integrate marginalized informal waste workers including waste pickers in the solid waste management framework by utilizing their expertise in the domain. Initiated in 2013, Hasiru Dala now has a membership of over 7500 waste pickers and is innovating services and business models that leverage waste pickers’ expertise and entrepreneurship, generating stable livelihoods in the process.
Through its work, Hasiru Dala is creating recognition of waste pickers and informal waste workers as important contributors to urban economy. Their work which includes collection, sorting, grading and transportation of waste for recycling is foundational to both green and circular economies, much needed for mitigation of climate change.
Hasiru Dala has trained waste pickers to upgrade their skills for providing more services to the citizens. Current services include Total Waste Management for bulk generators, Dry Waste Collection and Aggregation, Operation of Bio-gas Plants, and Composting Services.
Geographically Hasiru Dala is based in Bengaluru, and is slowly- slowly expanding to other cities like Nelamangala, Mysuru.
In addition to livelihood creation, Hasiru Dala enables workers’ access to social security benefits for improving the quality of life. The admittance to social security benefits include procuring government issued occupational ID cards that give workers a sense of identity as well as access to financial inclusion, health insurance schemes, educational scholarship and loans for their children’s education and to run their own enterprises.
Who are waste pickers and informal waste workers? What do they do?
In a neighborhood dumping spot, you must be seeing men and women looking through the garbage. Armed only with old shoes and clothes picked out from waste heaps and a stick to sort through trash, they look for material which has a value and can be sent for recycling. They are waste pickers. They collect discarded materials that have zero value and convert it into a tradable commodity through their labor in extraction, collection, sorting, grading and transporting (Alliance of Indian Waste picker). There are itinerant buyers, whom we refer to as Kabadiwallas. Riding on the bicycle they call the residents to sell the used materials i.e. old newspapers, pet and glass bottles, metal which has no use. There are others, who purchase the collected material by waste pickers and itinerant buyers, they are scrap dealers. In both scrap shops and the hierarchy above there are workers, who sort and grade waste in various categories, they are called sorters. The term ‘other informal waste workers’ is all encompassing and includes sorters, itinerant buyers, scrap dealers and others. Hasiru Dala is a membership based organization of waste pickers and informal waste workers.
What is the vision and mission of Hasiru Dala?
Vision: An inclusive society for waste pickers and other informal waste workers, free of discrimination based on their caste, religion, occupation, gender and sexuality.
Mission: Creating sustainable opportunities for waste pickers and other informal waste workers in the urban economy and for conservation of our natural habitats.