Implementation of Solid Waste Management Program by Saahas with the funding support from Rainmatter Foundation

Dear all,

Saahas is a non-governmental organization registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, of 1960. Saahas is primarily focuses on programs based on the concepts of ‘Source Segregation’ and ‘Decentralized Waste Management’ within the framework of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016. Since 2015. Presently Saahas is working in 12 states of India. Saahas has a membership position in the RURAL PARTNER WASH FORUM under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakthi. Saahas is also a member of the WASH Coalition established by UNICEF in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation in Karnataka State.

Saahas now collaborated with Rainmatter Foundation and started its intervention in Kalaburagi and Yadgiri districts on 1st September 2022. The 2 districts are from the Kalyana Karnataka region of Karnataka state. It is a scale project, at present for 18 months of time 8 Gram Panchayats (4 Gram Panchayats from each district) will be made as model Gram Panchayats in the implementation of the solid waste management program. The Gram Panchayat will act as a showcase model for other Gram Panchayats in the district. In the Remaining 18 months 50 Gram Panchayats will be covered under the program where the Gram Panchayat Officials, Elected members, and Sanitation staff will be trained on how to implement and sustain the Solid waste management program at Gram Panchayat Level.


Saahas has now partnered with Rainmatter Foundation and has started its intervention in the Kalaburagi and Yadgiri districts on September 1st, 2022.The team has planned a variety of activities to kick-start the waste management system in both districts (8 Gram Panchayats). The plan began with a high-level stakeholder meeting with Chief Executive Officers. Program Directors, Executive Officers, Panchayat Development Officers, the District SBM and NRLM consultant team, and the Panchayat presidents of respective GPs. The logo and project name were finalised - ‘MISSION SWACHCH KALYAN KARNATAKA’

The administration began with infrastructure development, while the Saahas team concentrated on IEC activities and capacity building. As part of this, the team conducted Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) activities to incorporate rural people’s knowledge, suggestions, and opinions into the planning and management of the project and related programmes. They used various tools such as transect walks, timelines, social and resource mapping. As a result of PRA, the team developed a collection route map that made collection movement simple and accessible to all households and businesses.

Capacity building sessions for Chief Executive Officers, Program Directors, Executive Officers, Panchayat Development Officers, and other Panchayat officials were held as a first step. Level 2 capacity building sessions were attended by ASHA workers, Anganwadi staff, water men, as frontline informers of society. The GPs signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Gram Panchayat Level Federations (GPLFs) to ensure the smooth operation of SWM units and proper waste management in each GP. IEC materials such as A6 door stickers, flipcharts, leaflets, and so on were also provided, as well as register books and maintenance entry books for daily operational purposes.

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International Zerowaste day Event

As a part of 1st International Zerowaste day (March 30th 2023), Taluk level GPLF workshops were conducted in Jewaragi and Kalburagi taluks on the 28th and 29th of March. The sessions were scheduled from 11 o’clock to 2 o’clock. It was inaugurated by the Executive officer; the Assistant Director and District coordinators of SBM & NRLM were present in the session. 172 participants participated. 9 collection staff were honoured by the authorities for their heroic and super performance in the past months. They have shared their experiences, success stories and challenges with other SWM unit members. They also shared their way of handling hectic days at work and tackling difficult situations with the public. The session encouraged others to build their team’s partnership.


Wonderful to know that collection staff was recognised and felicitated for their work!
Thanks for sharing!

Towards the success stories…

The Saahas team organised various activities to raise awareness among residents and shop owners. The group began IEC sticking activity in November 2022. The primary objective of this activity was to remind people about source-level segregation as an everyday reminder. Most of the villagers were unaware of how their lives were being impacted by waste burning and littering, and they were also unaware of the segregation practices that they could engage in on their own. The intervention of the Saahas team improved villagers’ understanding of the situation.
As a result of continuous interactions and demonstrations, the Bhagyavanthi wine shop in the Yadgiri district started handing over their properly segregated dry waste to the waste collection vehicle twice a week. They used to throw and burn their waste on their premises, resulting in causing numerous environmental and health issues in the surrounding area.
In Kalburagi district, initially waste collection workers from GPLF were not confident enough to continue the process because they were easily demotivated by unsupportive responses from the public, and many refused to give waste. With more training, exposure visits, and on-ground interactions, they increased their confidence and knowledge. The Panchayat Development Officer also assisted with daily activities. Now our warriors are ready to work on a regular basis, segregating all dry waste, and collected 344 kg of waste in December. It was 199 kg in November; it was 199 kg; they are collecting an average of 15 kg/day. Even they are providing awareness to the households who are giving mixed waste.

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Encouraging and creating ‘CHANGEMAKERS’ :woman_student:t4: :student:t4:

This time, the team concentrated on schools to spread awareness since Saahas considers every kid as a potential social change agent. Each student has incredible, incomparable and significant potential which can make better changes in the upcoming period. In consideration of this, the Saahas team carried out several activities in Kalburagi and Yadgiri schools.
On December 19, 2022, Shivani, a sixth-grade student at Government Higher Primary School, Bannur, attended the awareness sessions and was motivated by the lessons on waste management. She started sorting waste and encouraged her parents to do the same in their home. She succeeded in convincing her parents to follow the same method in daily life, creating an environment of well-being in their home. They now belong to the group of villages who started source-level segregation and regularly deliver the segregated waste to the collection vehicle.

Hyderabad Karnataka aka Kalyan Karnataka

The locations of Mission Swachha Kalyan Karnataka project have a huge historical background. A portion of the state of Karnataka known as Kalyana-Karnataka previously belonged to the Nizami-ruled Kingdom of Hyderabad, and the Madras presidency of British India, formerly known as Hyderabad Karnataka. The area includes the cities of Hyderabad state’s Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, and Kalaburagi as well as the Madras province’s Ballari and Vijayanagara, which are now located in the state of Karnataka. The second-largest dry region in India is the Northeast Karnataka region. These regions’ two largest cities are Kalaburagi and Ballari. In 1948, when the Hyderabad State was officially merged into India, some portions of it were incorporated into the state of Karnataka. In 2019, the Hyderabad-Karnataka region was officially renamed as Kalyana-Karnataka.

The 98th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2012 added Article 371-J, which specified particular regulations for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region of the state of Karnataka, to the Constitution. The Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council of Karnataka adopted a resolution in March 2012 to create specific provisions for the Kalyan-Karnataka Region. The resolution aims to provide an institutional framework for regional development and inclusive growth. It works to reduce the imbalance within and between districts in the State of Karnataka. The President can ask the Governor to organise a development council for the region, ensure that funds are distributed properly for its development, and establish reservation criteria for residents of the region for positions in state government and educational and vocational training institutions.

The region is still dealing with neglect from many sectors even after the institutional framework was taken into consideration and approved. The districts continue to be at the bottom of the development stack because of their low per capita income, below-average literacy rates, poor healthcare infrastructure, unemployment, migration, and other challenges. Despite the region’s rich natural resources, experts blame its disadvantage on past incidents and government negligence. The people are forced to fight against their own elected representatives to get basic facilities. Due to a lack of political coordination, several development work ideas have failed to get momentum.

“Hundreds of years of negligence cannot be nullified in just 75 years. We have made a lot of progress in various sectors. Yet, there is a lot to catch up on” said former minister Priyank Kharge to the Deccan Herald.

Challenges faced through the intervention

Saahas started the intervention in the month of October 2022, and faced numerous challenges: Lack of awareness and education, inadequate infrastructure, limited financial resources, inefficient waste collection systems, cultural and behavioural factors, weather conditions, monitoring and enforcement, public participation and stakeholder coordination, and changing waste composition were some of them. Let’s elaborate:

One of the primary challenges in waste management projects is the lack of awareness and education among the local population. Many people may not be familiar with proper waste segregation, recycling practices, or the importance of reducing waste generation. Conducting awareness campaigns and educational programs was crucial to address this challenge.

Inadequate infrastructure: The region lacks the necessary infrastructure for waste management, such as waste collection systems, recycling facilities, and treatment plants. Establishing a comprehensive waste management infrastructure will require significant investment and coordination with local authorities.

Limited financial resources: Implementing waste management projects can be costly, especially when setting up infrastructure and deploying waste collection systems. Securing adequate funding and financial resources may pose a challenge, particularly if there are competing priorities for limited resources in the region.

Inefficient waste collection systems: In many areas, waste collection systems may be inefficient or nonexistent, leading to unregulated dumping and littering. Designing and implementing an efficient waste collection system, including regular waste collection schedules and proper disposal methods, will be essential to overcome this challenge.

Informal waste sector: Informal waste pickers and recyclers are common in many regions, including Kalyan Karnataka. While they play a crucial role in waste management, integrating them into formal waste management systems can be challenging due to issues related to recognition, fair compensation, and providing adequate working conditions.

Cultural and behavioural factors: Cultural practices and behavioural patterns can significantly impact waste management. For example, some communities may have deep-rooted habits of open burning or improper waste disposal. Addressing these cultural and behavioural factors will require community engagement and behaviour change campaigns.

Land scarcity and space limitations: Finding suitable land for waste treatment facilities, such as composting or landfill sites, can be challenging in densely populated regions. The scarcity of land and space limitations may require innovative solutions like waste-to-energy projects or exploring partnerships with neighbouring regions.

Monitoring and enforcement: Ensuring compliance with waste management regulations and proper waste disposal practices may pose a challenge. Regular monitoring, enforcement of regulations, and penalties for non-compliance will be necessary to maintain the effectiveness of waste management initiatives.

Public participation and stakeholder coordination: Engaging the public, community organisations, and local stakeholders is crucial for the success of waste management projects. Building partnerships, fostering collaboration, and involving community members in decision-making processes will be essential for long-term sustainability.

Changing waste composition: As the region develops and experiences economic growth, the composition of waste may change. The emergence of new types of waste, such as electronic waste or hazardous materials, may require specialised handling and disposal methods, which could pose additional challenges for waste management systems.

Addressing these challenges will require a comprehensive approach, involving community participation, infrastructure development, policy and regulatory measures, education and awareness campaigns, and the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including local government, businesses, and NGOs.


Thanks for sharing - this is quite a comprehensive view of the different kinds of challenges on-ground, - similar to what we’ve learnt from @warrior_vishal

@Pai might you know of any pet orgs/start-ups that also address some of these challenges - might the efforts of PadCare be relevant from the materiality/waste composition?

Hi Marisha,

Wastelink is doing this @Climate_Warrior. And adding @Ajinkya_Dhariya to share how Padcare is thinking of this.


In a case study focused on waste collection awareness among school children, it was observed that there was a lack of knowledge and interest in waste management among the younger population. The responsibility for waste management was typically handled by adults in households.

To address this issue, the organization Saahas intervened and conducted an awareness program during Environment Day celebrations. They informed the children about the waste collection vehicle and its schedule, as well as the purpose of contributing waste to the vehicle. Additionally, the team provided education on waste segregation, explaining the different categories of waste. To make the learning process more engaging, they distributed pamphlets and used flipcharts.

The impact of the intervention was significant, as it inspired a 6th-grade student named Prema, the daughter of Shivalingappa. After the awareness program, Prema began giving segregated waste to the collection vehicle immediately and encouraged her neighbors to do the same. She actively sought help from the team to ensure proper waste segregation.

Prema’s transformation into a CHANGEMAKER showcases the success of the intervention. She continued with the waste segregation process, demonstrating a commitment to the cause. Furthermore, her newfound awareness extended beyond waste segregation, as she actively worked to reduce plastic usage in her daily life.

This case study highlights the power of awareness programs in inspiring positive change in younger generations. By equipping children with knowledge about waste management, they can become influential agents in promoting sustainable practices and contribute to a cleaner and greener environment.


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Success story….

Government Higher Primary School Ramasamudra used to burn waste within their premises, leading to environmental and health concerns. The school’s cleaning staff were observed burning waste, including wet waste, resulting in incomplete combustion.

Saahas, intervened multiple times to raise awareness among the students about waste segregation. However, this time, they shifted their focus to the cleaning staff. They provided education and training on proper waste segregation techniques and conducted regular visits to reinforce the message.

To facilitate proper waste management, separate bins were provided to the school. The cleaning staff enthusiastically embraced the new practices and stopped burning garbage altogether. They now diligently collect and segregate the waste, ensuring that it is disposed of correctly by the waste management vehicle on a regular basis.

As a result of the combined efforts of Saahas and the school’s staff, the burning of waste has been eliminated, leading to a cleaner and healthier environment for the school and its surroundings. This success demonstrates the power of education and community involvement in promoting sustainable waste management practices.

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Thanks @Saahas_Updates

I had a question, do waste management vehicles reach everywhere and regularly? I wonder why people throw garbage/waste at undesignated spots, is it because waste management vehicles don’t cover all areas?

Training workshop in Kollur M

A training workshop was conducted, a collaborative effort between Zilla Panchayat Yadgiri, Taluka Panchayat Shahapur, Gram Kolluru M, NRLM (GPLF), and SAAHAS Organization in partnership with Swachh Bharat Mission (Gra) Phase-2 and a closing ceremony was held at the Solid Waste Management (SWM) unit. The purpose of this initiative was to promote waste collection, sorting, and processing for improved cleanliness and hygiene in the Kolluru M village.

The event was graced by the presence of Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Garima Panwara Madam, who played a pivotal role in the success of the workshop. This training workshop aimed to empower members of Gram Panchayat Level Federation (GPLF) and the local community to enhance their understanding of effective waste management practices. By collaborating with Swachh Bharat Mission (Gra) Phase-2, this initiative sought to contribute to the broader goal of creating cleaner and healthier environments in rural areas.

The workshop emphasised practical strategies for waste collection, proper sorting, and efficient processing techniques. The event not only provided valuable knowledge and skills but also served as a platform for networking and sharing experiences among participants. The participation of Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Garima Panwara Madam highlighted the commitment of local authorities and organisations in driving positive change through sustainable waste management practices.

Overall, the closing ceremony of the training workshop marked a significant step towards promoting Gram Swachhata (village cleanliness) and fostering collaboration between various stakeholders for the betterment of the Kolluru M village and its surroundings.

Hello Nithin,

The Gram Panchayaths have a weekly plan for waste collection, covering all regions within the particular GP. Nevertheless, there’s a notable need for changes in cultural and behavioral aspects regarding waste control, which Saahas is addressing. We’re engaged in Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) initiatives to enhance public awareness, ultimately promoting effective waste management practices.

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In the village of Markal, within the Kollur Gram Panchayat, a concerning habit was discovered during door-to-door awareness efforts. The Anganwadi Kendra’s staff had been burning dry waste on their premises, which caused pollution and potential harm, especially to the children.

To tackle this issue, Saahas took action. They appealed to the Grama Panchayat to provide segregation bags for the Anganwadi Kendra. These bags were handed out under the team’s supervision. The next step involved educating the staff through awareness sessions. The goal was to teach them the proper method of segregating dry waste into the provided bags. On designated collection days, the staff then handed over the segregated waste to the Swachh Vahini vehicle. The team maintained consistent follow-up.

This intervention led to positive outcomes. The Anganwadi staff abandoned their waste-burning habit and adopted proper waste segregation. They diligently handed over the sorted dry waste to the Swachh Vahini vehicle on the scheduled collection days. This successful approach put an end to the harmful practice of waste burning, making the environment cleaner and safer for everyone.


Waste Collection workers - the cornerstone of the Solid Waste Management
Ensuring the utmost health and well-being of the personnel participating in Solid Waste Management initiatives holds tremendous significance. This importance stems from their active participation in the day-to-day collection of waste from households as well as its subsequent processing at the solid waste management facility.

To address this vital concern, the team has taken the proactive step of urging the Public Development Officers (PDOs) to supervise the health status of the sanitation staff through nearby Primary Health Care Centers.

The PDOs responsible for the Kollur M and Mudnal Grama Panchayats have responded affirmatively to the recommendation put forth by Saahas. They have taken the initiative to conduct health examinations for a total of 6 sanitation staff members.

The waste collection staff can be rightfully considered as the cornerstone of the Solid Waste Management framework.


Hi @Saahas_Updates thanks for sharing!

Here are a few points:

  1. Most probably all of them could be beneficiaries of PMJAY, have you checked their name in the beneficiaries list? If not, please do so their unaffordable hospitalization cost could be covered.
  2. If the name is in the PMJAY, they must create an ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account), so any Health Records/Vitals created for them could get linked automatically, so other providers could make informed decisions.

I am hoping this is Karnataka - PHCs are already creating ABHA for patients

Also, this is our pilot app:
Key features are designed for two states - Bihar and UP. Please have a look if this can be helpful.

Be an Inspiration
I am writing to share an inspiring story of Nagamma, a dedicated member of our Self-Help Group (SHG) in Bheemali Gram Panchayat (GP), located in Kalaburagi district. Nagamma’s journey is a testament to the power of determination and the impact that can be achieved through support and opportunity.

Nagamma, like many rural women, had a strong desire to work and contribute to her community. However, she faced significant challenges in finding daily employment. Her search for meaningful work led her to the Saahas team, who were actively looking for women to assist in waste collection within Bheemali GP.

Upon approaching the Saahas team members, Nagamma’s interest and enthusiasm for this vital task became apparent. The team provided her with a comprehensive understanding of the work involved and recognized her potential. Subsequently, they recommended her to the Panchayat Development Officer (PDO).

After consulting with the PDO, Nagamma willingly embraced the opportunity to take up waste collection as her daily occupation. Over the past seven months, she has been tirelessly working from 6:30 am to 11:30 am every day. Her unwavering dedication and commitment to her work have not gone unnoticed.

Nagamma’s consistent efforts have not only benefited the environment by contributing to waste management but have also significantly improved her own life. She now earns a monthly income ranging from Rs 3000 to Rs 5000. This financial support has proved invaluable to her family, offering them a better quality of life and opportunities for growth.

Nagamma’s story exemplifies the positive impact that collaboration between SHGs, local authorities, and community initiatives can have on individuals and the community at large. Her journey serves as a shining example of how determination, combined with support and opportunity, can transform lives and create a brighter future for all.

We hope Nagamma’s success story inspires us all to continue working together for the betterment of our community and empowering individuals like her to reach their full potential.
C:sersaahasesktopew folder (2)agamma.jfif