Hasiru Dala: Empowering Waste Pickers and Building a Greener Future

HASIRU DALA: A Green Force for Waste Workers’ Dignity – Waste management is one of the most pressing environmental and social issues in India. According to a 2018 report by the Central Pollution Control Board, India generates about 62 million tonnes of solid waste annually, of which only 43 million tonnes are collected and only 11.9 million tonnes are treated. The rest ends up in landfills, open dumps, or water bodies, causing pollution, health hazards, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Hasiru Dala

Details of the startup:

  • CITY: Bengaluru
  • STATE: Karnataka
  • STARTED IN: 2015
  • FOUNDERS:  Malabari Abdul Marwan Abubaker, Nalini Shekar and Shekar Prabhakar
  • NUMBER OF INVESTORS : 3
  • LATEST ROUND INVESTMENT : ₹18.80M
  • TOTAL INVESTMENT : ₹32.80M
  • TOTAL SECURED LOANS AVAILED :₹29.21M

You can find their website here.

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The informal sector of waste workers, such as waste pickers, scrap dealers, and recyclers, plays a vital role in reducing the burden of waste on the environment and the economy. They collect, sort, and process waste materials, recovering valuable resources and diverting them from landfills. However, they face many challenges, such as low income, poor working conditions, social stigma, and lack of recognition and rights.

HASIRU DALA, which means Green Force in Kannada, is a social impact organisation that works with waste workers to ensure a life with dignity. Founded in 2010 by Anslem Rosario and Nalini Shekar, HASIRU DALA aims to integrate waste workers into the formal waste management system and provide them with services such as occupational identity cards, education, health and livelihood support, and access to resources and opportunities.

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HASIRU DALA’s Services and Initiatives

HASIRU DALA offers a range of services and initiatives for waste workers and their families, such as:

  • Identity cards: HASIRU DALA issues occupational identity cards to waste workers, which help them to access various government schemes and benefits, such as health insurance, pension, housing, and education. So far, HASIRU DALA has issued over 10,000 identity cards to waste workers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Education: HASIRU DALA runs a children’s program called Buguri, which provides educational support, life skills training, and recreational activities to the children of waste workers. Buguri operates five community libraries in Bengaluru, which cater to over 800 children.
  • Health: HASIRU DALA organises health camps, awareness sessions, and referrals for waste workers, addressing issues such as occupational hazards, reproductive health, mental health, and substance abuse. HASIRU DALA also facilitates the enrollment of waste workers in government health schemes, such as Ayushman Bharat and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana.
  • Livelihood: HASIRU DALA provides skill development, market access, and employment opportunities for waste workers, enabling them to diversify their income sources and improve their living standards. Some of the livelihood initiatives of HASIRU DALA are:
    • Hasiru Dala Innovations: A for-benefit, not-for-loss social enterprise that offers professional and reliable waste management services to bulk waste generators, such as apartments, offices, institutions, and events. Hasiru Dala Innovations employs waste workers as green force members, who collect, segregate, and transport waste to authorised processing units. Hasiru Dala Innovations also provides other services, such as composting solutions, urban gardening, and e-waste management.
    • Hasiru Dala Youth: A program that trains and mentors the youth from the waste worker community to become entrepreneurs and leaders in the waste sector. Hasiru Dala Youth supports the youth to start and run their own micro-enterprises, such as scrap shops, material recovery facilities, dry waste collection centres, and upcycling units.
    • Hasiru Dala Kabadiwala: An online platform that connects households and businesses with local scrap dealers, who buy and sell recyclable waste materials. Hasiru Dala Kabadiwala helps to increase the income and customer base of scrap dealers, while also promoting source segregation and recycling among waste generators.
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HASIRU DALA’s Impact and Recognition

HASIRU DALA has made a significant impact on the lives of waste workers and the environment. Some of the achievements of HASIRU DALA are:

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HASIRU DALA is a social impact organisation that works with waste workers to ensure a life with dignity. It provides services such as occupational identity cards, education, health and livelihood support, and helps them to access resources and opportunities. HASIRU DALA also integrates waste workers into the formal waste management system and provides professional and reliable waste management services to bulk waste generators. HASIRU DALA is a green force for waste workers’ dignity and environmental sustainability.

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