Ragpickers form the largest faceless organization that can make or break the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Ragpickers sell the waste to recyclers for money. However, since the task is very cumbersome, needing them to bend to collect waste, they only collect the heavier plastics and paper. Hence, in spite of their efforts, there is still a lot of waste everywhere in India.
If we could help reduce efforts by rag pickers to collect waste, then they will collect a lot more. It’s a win-win situation, as more waste is being sent to recyclers, and the rag picker earns more as well. So, Anurag Chandak, came up with device of his own, called Gandhi Chhadi.
The device is made of a PVC pipe which is long enough so that rag picker need not bend to pick up waste. It is made with a simple yet innovative concept such that when the device is rotated the waste goes inside letting in new waste.
As Anurag Chandak says, ‘A rag picker, armed with a Gandhi Chhadi, will now be able to collect up to 10 times more waste than before, without even having to touch the waste. A municipal worker can now be provided with a Gandhi Chhadi along with the rest of his gear and clean even unpaved areas.’ The ‘Gandhi Chhadi’ not just improves collection efficiency, but provides greater dignity for our rag picker friends.
This innovation, though simplistic in nature, has the potential to bring about a sea of change in our waste collection and management landscape. The device has now gained popularity amongst everyone, from cleanliness enthusiasts to municipal workers to morning walkers. Anurag can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org