e-rikshaw for door to door collection of waste under SBM(G) phase II empowers Babita Dhurve of Betul, MP!

SBM(G) ph II now aims to make India ODF plus after having successfully achieved ODF status in 2019. The plus comprises elements beyond construction and use of toilets and towards holistic universal sanitation delineating sustained usage of toilets, eco-friendly and economically viable management of solid and liquid waste, including bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste generated from our homes and communities and subsequent visually clean surroundings. This also supports the objective of generating livelihoods as part of phase II of the cleanliness mission, through dedicated and specific technological interventions for Solid & Liquid Waste Management.

One of the provisions of the program towards solid and liquid waste management is door to door collection of waste generated from households and its transportation to the waste collection sheds. For this door to door collection, Gram Panchayats (GPs) are provided funds to buy e-rikshaws and hire a person to operate the e-rikshaw. This, not only serves the purpose of cleanliness but also provides income generation opportunity to the e-rickshaw operator.

When Babita (24) lost both her parents in 2021, the responsibility of her 2 siblings and the household fell on her. Even though she was a visiting teacher of neighboring villages, the income was not enough to sustain the family. That’s when she approached her Gram Panchayat – Ratanpur to let her operate the e-rikshaw and collect waste from the village households. In-spite of initial resistance from the community, the determined Babita, learned to operate the e-rikshaw and today successfully does her job. She says, her new job allows her to stay within the village and better look after her family, have an income source as well as let her be part of the ‘swachhta muhim’ of her village. She was also featured in the local news-paper for her story and being district’s first woman e-rikshaw waste collector.

Around 100 GPs of district Betul, Madhya Pradesh are using different modes of waste collection viz. e-rikshaw, tri-cycles etc. These modes are not only ensuring cleaner villages but also providing employment to the youth, and channelizing their energies toward productive activity.  

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