By Anusha Purushotham, Adithya, S J Chander, SOCHARA-SOPHEA - July 2016 | E-SOCHARA
SOCHARA and Padmashree School of Public Health have been identified by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP - the municipal corporation) for providing technical support to the Training of Trainers (ToT) of the Solid Waste Management Initiative of BBMP carried out in collaboration with Solid Waste Management, Round Table (SWMRT) which comprised of members of Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) and Residents Welfare Associations (RWA) operating in various wards of BBMP.
The first ToT took place on 21st May after a couple of weeks of planning in which SOCHARA had participated on the request of Dr. Sandhya of BBMP. The Manual was prepared during this period and came straight from the press on the 21st May, 2016. The second training was conducted on 25th June, 2016. Total participants for the two trainings were 250 (with Dr Thelma as a resource person) and 150 (with Mr Chander and Adithya as resource persons) respectively.
Details of the first training have been provided here.
Time: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm
Venue: Urban Health Research and Training Institute, Malleshwaram, Bengaluru
Attendees: Dr. Thelma Narayan (TN) and Anusha Purushotham (APu)
TN and APu attended the SWM Master Training Programme organized by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in collaboration with Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT), Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI), Padmashree School of Public Health and SOCHARA. The training programme is a historic, first of its kind public-citizen partnership for training in the country. It is a joint initiative that resulted from 3 years of efforts of committed citizen volunteers, NGOs (HasiruDala and SWMRT) and the BBMP to address the issue of solid waste management in the city.
Inauguration and opening remarks
On Saturday, May 21st, 2016, the first TOT of SWM Master Trainers was inaugurated with the lighting of the lamp by the Deputy Mayor of Bengaluru, Mrs. Hemalatha, BBMP Special Commissioner for SWM, Mr. Subodh Yadav, Mr. Ramakant from SWMRT, BBMP Health Committee Chairman, Mr. Mujahiddeen Pasha and Mrs. Shashwati Mishra from EMPRI. Later in the programme, the Joint Commissioner for Health and Solid Waste Management, Mr. Sarfaraz Khan, joined the Q&A session.
The BBMP Special Commissioner of SWM, Subodh Yadav, stated that the mission of the programme is “formalizing the commitment and competence of citizen volunteers who have been working in the area of solid waste management to create a cadre of Master Trainers who will work closely with the Pourakarmikas, Shuchi Mitras and the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) to carry out ongoing training, disseminate information on SWM practices, existing SWM infrastructure and capacities, along with important Rules and Regulations, Roles and Responsibilities to every stakeholder.”
The Deputy Mayor, Hemalatha spoke about the recent plastic-ban, which she credited to the collaborative effort of both the government and citizens. The BBMP Special Commissioner for SWM, Subodh Yadav stated that the mission of SWM Master Training Programme is three fold:
- To encourage citizen involvement
- To create awareness on all initiatives taken on SWM by the BBMP
- To provide all information on SWM to citizen Master Trainers directly from the source (BBMP) so that well-informed citizens can then disseminate the right information to their communities, pourakarmikas (PKs) and RWAs about current SWM practices/infrastructure
When citizens are aware about the dynamics of waste collection, transportation, segregation and final destination, they will be able to help BBMP in the process of SWM. Master Trainers will be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the BBMP on the field. Past successes in waste management in Bengaluru have been accomplished mainly due to active citizen participation, “This is not because of BBMP officials; enlightened and aware citizens have always guided us. This is a result of your work,” Subodh Yadav, said. Shashwati Mishra from EMPRI added that teamwork needs to be sustained if we are to solve the issues and it can be done with the help of aware citizens and active NGOs.
All participants had to answer a pre-training questionnaire comprising of basic facts and concepts of SWM. After the completion of the training, a post-training questionnaire comprising of the same questions was administered. Each participant was handed a BBMP TOT Training Manual comprised of the following five modules:
- Solid Waste Management
- Pourakarmika (Manual Scavengers) Health and Safety
- Pourakarmika Training Guide
- Master Training Programme Support
- Public Notices, Circulars
The course content was developed by SWMRT, EMPRI, Padmashree School of Public Health and SOCHARA. Dr. Thelma was one of the key contributors in developing the section on ‘Pourakarmika Health and Safety’ for this TOT along with Dr. Umashankar from Padmashree School of Public Health. Dr. Thelma and Dr. Umashankar were also the resource personnel on the day of the training for the same module. There were a total of 250 participants registered for the training. Therefore, we were divided into three parallel groups for training. Each group consisted of around 60-90 members and all three training modules were covered for all the groups.
In our group, Sandya Naraynan from SWMRT facilitated the training on Modules 1, 3, 4 and 5 while Dr.Umashankar facilitated the training on Module 2. Dr. Thelma facilitated the training on Module 2 in the other two groups.
The SWM Master Training includes 3 objectives:
- Training Cadre: To create a cadre of SWM Master Trainers – both citizen and officers with training capacity
- SWM Competence: To enhance the SWM competence through access to SWM material and updated information with citizen participation
- Ongoing Training: To provide ongoing training to speed up and scale up IEC. The SWM training programme is intended to cover approximately 30,000 pourakarmikas, gangmen, link workers, urban ASHAs, Shuchi Mitras and RWAs
The course content was developed by SWMRT, EMPRI, Padmashree School of Public Health and SOCHARA. Dr. Thelma was one of the key contributors in developing the section on ‘Pourakarmika Health and Safety’ for this TOT along with Dr. Umashankar from Padmashree School of Public Health. Dr. Thelma and Dr. Umashankar were also the resource personnel on the day of the training for the same module.
There were a total of 250 participants registered for the training. Therefore, we were divided into three parallel groups for training. Each group consisted of around 60-90 members and all three training modules were covered for all the groups. In our group, Sandya Naraynan from SWMRT facilitated the training on Modules 1, 3, 4 and 5 while Dr.Umashankar facilitated the training on Module 2. Dr. Thelma facilitated the training on Module 2 in the other two groups.
After the training session, we regrouped and a Q&A session was held with a three-member panel of Subodh Yadav (SY), Sarfaraz Khan (SK) and Ramakant (R). Some of the salient points that were raised:
- Sanitation and changing facilities for pourakarmikas are inadequate. Although there are provisions for these facilities in mustering centers, it has not been adequately implemented.
- Pourakarmikas have very little knowledge about their rights and benefits as this information is not disclosed by contractors. More efforts need to be made to increase awareness about their benefits – including their paid leave policy.
- Leaves collected from streets are not always routed to their proper destinations – forest nurseries or parks. Instead, they are burned at street corners.
- Safety equipment provision and use is a huge concern. Behavioural change along with awareness and sensitization is imperative
- Language barriers of Master Trainers need to be addressed – need to learn Kannada, Tamil or Telugu for effective training, although not a prerequisite. BBMP will look into how to assist master trainers in this regard.
- As Master Trainers, how can one escalate the problems that they witness/experience with respect to SWM and pourakarmikas? (1) SY: At the end of each training session, there will be a feedback system so that the issues brought to the attention of Master Trainers by pourakarmikas or other participants can reported back to the BBMP officials. The BBMP officials will then take them forward.
- Who appoints the Shuchi Mitras? (1) SK: They will be appointed by the Joint Commissioner. One Shuchi Mitra will be appointed per auto block i.e. approximately 750 households. All this information will be shared ward wise once the appointments are made.
- What are the responsibilities of the Master Trainers? (1) SY: There are no other responsibilities apart from training. We have collected the contact information and we will contact Master Trainers in advance before the scheduled training sessions. BBMP is responsible for all the logistics of the training. Master Trainers are only responsible as resource persons for the training sessions. The plan is to first start the training of Shuchi Mitras, followed by pourakarmikas and then the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) (2) SK: Shuchi Mitras will get information of all the pourakarmikas and RWAs of your ward. The Master Trainers need not contact the participants for the session.
- Are all the elected representatives in cooperation of this initiative? This is a very unique initiative that involves citizens. What if there are vested political interests that will oppose this initiative, perhaps even transfer you? (1) SY: This is a BBMP initiative, not just the initiative of the JC and SC of SWM. There will not be any opposition. We will have to do our duty, regardless. (2) SK: The corporators of each ward will be informed. They will be cooperative.
- When will the training sessions start? (1) SY: Training will tentatively start from next week. There will be more such TOTs for Master Trainers and additionally, the training for PKs, Suchi Mitras and RWAs will start soon.
- SK: The tenders for most contractors will expire by June. BBMP intends to stop the issuance of tenders and instead, replace with a system of Pourakarmika Co-operatives. This will exclude the middlemen and PKs will be directly employed by the BBMP through the cooperatives.