Transgender community and women keep Paradeep clean

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Paradeep has put in place a socio-economic model that not only integrates the marginalized but also generates enough income to be self-sufficient

Most people know Paradeep as a port town on the coast of Odisha. It is a city with clean, golden beaches and natural coves. But apart from these aspects, Paradeep has another distinction. It is one of the cleanest small towns in India.

What is Paradeep’s secret? Paradeep is unique in that it has successfully integrated women, the transgender community and scavengers into their waste management system. They have put in place a socio-economic model that not only integrates the marginalized but also generates enough income to be self-sufficient.

Solid waste management in Paradeep was rare before 2019. Source segregation was not practiced, door-to-door collection systems were irregular, people deposited their household waste in community bins, roads, the city’s sewers and vacant spaces were filled with trash.

But in 2019, the Municipality of Paradeep decided it was time for a change. They introduced rapid and drastic changes to the city’s waste management system. The city has introduced a model based on socio-economic sustainability.

The municipality enlisted self-help groups who were instructed to visit every home in the city to raise awareness of proper waste disposal. The awareness campaign was a huge success. People have started separating dry waste from their wet waste before handing it over to waste collectors.

The first step in waste treatment is the door-to-door collection of household waste. This operation is managed by the Paradeep Municipal Corporation assisted by self-help groups.

Waste collectors known as swachha karmis in local parlance, meet every morning for door-to-door waste collection. the swachha karmis are supervised by a supervisor who is called a Swachha Sathi. the Swachha Saathi and Swachha Karmis are all members of women’s self-help groups.

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