In India the skilling industry is saturated with courses on beauty, wellness, automobile maintenance, tourism and retail among others. There are enough plumbers, mechanics and beauticians around the block. However, what about individuals who can help with waste management? It is unheard of, right?
Green Communities Foundation, a consultancy in the waste management space has developed a vocational course for a “Waste Management Expert” (WME). This programme is meant for a section of the youth that is interested in the social sector and may not necessarily have an aptitude for academia. We hope to contribute to and create jobs under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Vaibhavi Marathe, a Waste Management Expert at Green Communities Foundation, says “Pehle hum papa se paise mangte the, aaj papa humse mangte hain”. i.e. “Earlier we used to ask Papa for money, now he asks me for money”. Vaibhavi has completed her higher secondary education and aspires of further studies. Her father is a watchman and she is the eldest child amongst three. She likes her work as it allows her to explore different parts of the city and brings additional income for her household during an hour of need.
Arun Jaiswar, another Waste Management Expert is the son of a panipuri vendor. He claims that his work has had a positive effect on his stammering issue and has helped him improve verbal communication. He has picked up good habits of using pleasantries and to appreciate small gestures. He says through his interaction with people he has learnt how to argue or debate without matters getting out of hand.
His family appreciates his new job and people in his locality respect him as he now has a steady job and income. He learns something new everyday and is happy to apply grooming etiquette that he was taught during the course at ICICI Academy for Skills.
So who is a WME?
A WME is an individual who can train your society’s housekeeping staff about waste management, focussing on waste segregation and aerobic composting. A WME would monitor segregation and composting at your society on a regular basis and ensure that waste management is on track.
The WME course aims at equipping a candidate with theory and field sessions, including knowledge about the waste problem in India, different types of treatment of waste i.e. methods of composting, recycling of dry waste and segregation workshops for household help. It also includes video training and hands-on experience with composting and its recipe in a simplified form. Other soft skills such as convincing and communication abilities and basic math skills are also included.
A more enterprising youth can leverage on these skills by becoming entrepreneurs. In other words, these outstanding members can create a business out of dry waste recycling or through uses of compost/equipment for composting etc.
Currently, GCF is in talks with ICICI Academy for Skills and Antarang Foundation. We have trained youth from their centres in Mumbai as WMEs. GCF envisions fruition of this programme can turn into a joint effort under National Skill Development Corporation and Swachh Bharat Mission.