The Alliance of Indian Wastepickers is a decade-old national coalition of organizations working with waste-pickers and other informal waste collectors. The alliance was created to have coordinated efforts to ensure the inclusion of waste pickers in various national-level programmes. Organizations/members of the alliance represent more than 100000 waste-pickers and other informal waste-pickers in India. The Secretariat of the alliance has been rotating amongst member organizations starting from Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), Pune. After that, the Bangalore based organization of waste pickers- Hasiru Dala hosted the secretariat for 3 years, followed by Stree Mukti Sanghatana, Mumbai for 3 years. From April 2019, Dalit Bahujan Resource Centre (DBRC) is hosting the secretariat of the Alliance.
Achievements of the Alliance of Indian Waste-pickers
- Inclusion of waste-pickers and informal waste collectors in Solid and Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change: The Alliance of Indian Waste-pickers undertook an advocacy campaign for the inclusion of waste-pickers in the given rules which govern the waste management in India. The representative of the member organization of the Alliance (KKPKP) was a part of the committee which drafted these rules.
- Inclusion of waste-pickers and their children in Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna, which was later merged into Ayushman Bharat and National Urban Health Mission, Scholarships for Children Engaged in Unclean Occupation and various training programmes of National Safaikarmacharis Finance & Development Corporation (NSKFDC) and Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET).
- Invited as experts for the training of municipal officials by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (think tank of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs). More than 1100 municipal officials participated in these training sessions across India. Many of the members of the Alliance are recognized as resource persons by various municipal, state and national training agencies.
- Represented Indian waste-pickers in the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UN-Habitat meetings.
Area of work of the Alliance
- Policy analysis and recommending policy measures to all levels of governments- Union, state and urban and rural local governments, different departments within each level of three-tier governments, for the inclusion of waste pickers and informal waste collectors in solid waste management and social protection measures.
- Capacity building of member organizations and municipal authorities to facilitate the integration of waste-pickers by undertaking training sessions on social entitlements, financial literacy, organic and dry waste management.
- Research focusing on waste management techniques, informal waste chains and status of waste-pickers and informal waste collectors.
- Awareness generation about the role played by waste-pickers and informal waste collectors in keeping the cities clean, mitigating climate change and contributing to manufacturing.
- Helping member organizations to strengthen themselves by providing a networking platform to learn from each other.
- Relief distribution to waste-pickers across India during the last two lockdowns.