I am Kolkata” inaugurates “Abartani” –A project on integrated waste management in Kolkata
· First of kind initiative in Solid Waste Management in Kolkata – bridging urban community and Underprivileged women to recycle and produce ready to use products made of solid waste
· United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Committee has allowed us to share their logo in all our IEC tools
· Joins hands with the Residents of AA Block, New Town and Kolkata Society For Cultural Heritage.
Kolkata, March 16, 2020: In a bid to reduce carbon footprint and empower marginalized section of women, “I Am Kolkata”, founded by Saket Mohta, a young entrepreneur, has embarked on a project on integrated waste management in collaboration with Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage, a social enterprise. Christened “Abartani” ( where the waste is nothing),the project is the first of kind initiative in Solid Waste Management in Kolkata that engages under privileged women to recycle and produce ready to use products made of solid waste.
The project has been initiated at AA Block, New Town involving hundreds of residents from the community with their due consent. The project involves urban and rural communities, creating a link between the two communities whereby the residents of urban community at AA Block, New Town are donating solid waste material to the Self Help Groups hailing from rural area and these Self Help Group women are getting trained to produce and recycle products which will be directly linked to the market. Thus I Am Kolkata aims at creating a sustainable model by which an alternative livelihood will be generated for self-help group women who are below poverty line .
At a formal function at Nazrul Tirtha Auditorium, Shri Debasish Sen, IAS, Chairman & Managing Director of HIDCO and Niraj Singhal, IFS, Chief Environment Officer, Govt of West Bengal inaugurated the project along with Saket Mohta, Founder of I Am Kolkata, CSR initiative of Merlin Group and Sourav Mukherjee, President, Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage.
Commenting on the initiative, Shri Saket Mohta said, “Through this initiative, we are promoting awareness about the importance of waste segregation at source and recycling the waste into environmentally friendly products thus reducing a portion of carbon footprint from the environment. Proper segregation reduces the amount of waste going to landfills while the dry waste collected provides raw materials for upcycled products. We also identified 50 self-help group women and will train them to produce recycled products from waste and therefore helping them to become self-reliant.”
The project has added a feather to its cap as United Nations has allowed the project Abartani to promote their Sustainability Development Goal Mission for this programme by adhering to their mentioned guidelines. I am Kolkata and Kolkata Society For Cultural Heritage address four Sustainable Development Goals adopted by United Nations in this project to provide a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. These are; GOAL 1: No Poverty, GOAL 5: Gender Equality, GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal.
Last year I Am Kolkata and Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage initiated a survey on typology of waste at AA Block Newtown involving hundred residents from the community. For the pilot phase I am Kolkata and Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage have selected three types of solid residential wastes. These are plastic bottles, newspapers & other waste papers and waste clothes. Based on the survey trend we are planning to recycle 13kg Plastic Bottles, 182.65kgs Waste Clothes and 292.5kgs of waste Newspapers monthly. Approximately it will help to reduce 57.573 metric ton carbon foot print monthly. Collection of waste at source will make the project more cost effective.
“Municipal solid waste has become a growing concern in cities across India. Improper waste management is hazardous to local inhabitants and various studies have revealed that close to 90% of municipal solid waste is disposed unscientifically in open dumps and landfills. As per the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change 62 million tonnes of waste is generated annually in the country at present and Waste generation will increase from 62 million tonnes to about 165 million tonnes in 2030. Through our initiative we are doing our bits to prevent some amount of waste that is 57.573 metric ton of carbon from being added to the landfill and incinerators which could have been converted to powerful greenhouse gases, which has already become a concern for the city as it continues to struggle and cope with the daily burden of city’s waste. With this project we are preventing these waste products from getting converted into powerful greenhouse gases. Our project is unique as we are recycling the waste into useful products which we will market directly and thus contributing to our role in protecting the environment and simultaneously empowering women economically”, added Saket Mohta.
The project has already identified fifty underprivileged women and two master trainers for capacity building to produce recycle products. The project will create a cluster consisting of ten marginalized women. Each cluster will function like one self-help group. Members of the Self Help Groups will collect the waste from the residents of AA Block Newtown Twice in a month. Master trainer will train them to produce good quality recycled and upcycled product.
I Am Kolkata and Kolkata Society For Cultural Heritage (KSCH) are also planning to involve educational institute for research & development purpose to generate new recycled and upcycled products. It will help to produce new diversified products. We are also designing one online platform for a better reach. We have plans to export the products as well.
“We have also observed that micro enterprises led by women SHGs cannot survive because of poor market linkage. We have decided to buy back the products from the SHGs and market the same under our brand “I Am Kolkata” to assure sustainability of the project. These counters will be managed by the Self Help Group members only. It will help to generate awareness for the mass to use more recycled and up cycled products to reduce carbon footprint and make our environment sustainable”, added Saket Mohta.