In a first-of-its-kind move, the Chandigarh civic body has given the responsibility of a material recovery facility (MRF) at Sector 25 to an all-women team. Known as the "Pink MRF", the team of women will be overseeing every duty at the facility, from segregation of dry waste to data operation. The facility was established on October 2 to commemorate Gandhi Jayanti.
An Empowering Workforce
"...the future is with women," believed Mahatma Gandi. Commemorating this revolutionary thinker's birth anniversary and his ideas, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation launched the operations of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) run fully by a woman workforce. Everyone from the support staff to data entry operators would be women.
As per a report by the Indian Express, the unique facility which opened in the Sector 25 centre has been named as the "Pink MRF" by Mayor Sarbjit Kaur Dhillon.
Currently the workforce includes 20 helpers, DEOs and security guards. The helpers assist in segregation of dry waste on the conveyor belt and had earlier worked as ragpickers. Training them appropriately, these women would also enter the organised sector through this opportunity.
For over decades, ragpickers in the country have been working in hazardous and unsanitary conditions.
They formed the base level of the pyramid that included scrap dealers, aggregators and re-processors. Through their entry in the mainstream, there would a certain level of recognition and stability that they would receive.
Improving The Conditions For Many Involved In Informal Ragpicking
There are more than four million rag-pickers in the country who work without basic social security, health insurance, minimum wages or basic protective gear. This has been one of the highly discussed concerns in regard to the informal ragpickers in the country.
Their inclusion into the system is a topic that has been presented on the elgal front multiple times, including during the 1995 report of the High-Power Committee on Solid Waste Management, the 1988 Expert Group recommendations, the Solid Waste Management Rules and Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and so on.
The Pink MRF resolves most of their concerns, including low and uncertain incomes, limited access to government schemes, health hazards, social exclusion through their initiative.
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