Hasiru Dala was one of the first organisations to act on the day that the lockdown was announced. They started with distributing ration kits that would last families of waste pickers for 15 days.
Operations were set up at St Joseph’s College, helped by Pricol Logistics. Hasiru Dala organised 2500 daily packets of dry ration. They procured, packed and distributed relief for 21 days.
“Credible intelligence from the ground helped us a lot. We knew the community: which families have lactating mothers, who had children, who needed medicines, families who would be hit the hardest.”
They decided to procure from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee since they had good prices and were supportive of local farmers. Having made this model work, they were approached by the citizens group in Bangalore and they asked us to lead the combined efforts of several NGOs, forums and individuals in the city.
Over the course of 21 days, Hasiru Dala distributed ration kits to 22,000 families. They have spearheaded relief work in the city and have decided to work with the government for strengthening the delivery of essential services to the vulnerable.
They have been trying to maintain the practice of segregation of waste and raising funds for paying daily wages to waste pickers. Having worked for ten years on solid waste management in Bangalore, they did not wish to let the virus stop them! They are working relentlessly to revive the recycling industry and the solid waste management services with different stakeholders.
At the time of our interview, Nalini told us they were working towards opening Nayandahalli market with its 500 shops, the centre of all recycling efforts in Bangalore, which catered to 6000 waste pickers.