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Women Building a Cleaner Punjab

Women Building a Cleaner Punjab

Out of the twenty villages where Roundglass Foundation has launched its Waste Management initiative, Laut village has something uniquely uplifting. It is the only village where a woman waste collector has been hired to collect garbage from the village households. Laut’s first woman waste collector, Amandeep Kaur, has a very empowering story.

Amandeep, who has never worked outside her home before, gets up early  every morning to ride her green rickshaw cart across the village collecting waste from village homes. She picks dry and waste separately, and then dumps the wet waste in the honeycomb-styled compost pits in the village. This is where wet waste is converted to compost to be given back to the villagers – the crucial last step of the Roundglass Waste Management program.

Amandeep readily accepted the work of a waste collector. She says,

"No work is big or small. I find this work to be quite powerful. It has given me an opportunity to help clean our village. When people appreciate the change that has taken place, I know I have played an important role in making that happen."

Under RGF’s Waste Management program, segregation of waste is a technical mandate for the smooth functioning of this initiative. Amandeep makes sure that it is done properly by regularly talking to rural residents. Amandeep understands how solid waste accumulation becomes an environmental, health and aesthetic hazard, and builds awareness about it among the villagers.

“The project has come as a relief for the village women because household waste is always a woman’s headache. Most of them are happy with this new solution, therefore they support it by properly segregating waste at source. But if there are some who still don’t understand it, I interact with them and focus on the health benefits for the entire community.”

Seeing her efforts bear great results, Amandeep is delighted with the change that has taken place in her village. “My heart knows that somewhere I have played a significant role in bringing such an important change in the village. Where else do you see clean lanes? Visit other villages and you will find gutters choked with all sorts of garbage. But you will not find that in our village!”

Mother of four children, Amandeep is quite proud of the fact that, with her new job, she is supporting her family financially too. From not earning anything at all to contributing 7000 rupees every month now, she has come a long way towards living a life of meaning and wellbeing.