Rag pickers are key for waste management in India. To earn their livelihood, they work under extensive health risks to collect, sort and segregate waste and then trade it.
In doing so, they clean a significant proportion of the waste, but also get exposed to infections as they come in contact with hazardous and bacterial infected waste, in absence of proper gear or equipment.
Keeping all this in mind, an IITian, Dr. Ajay Chandak has developed an effective waste collection tool, which would enable them to collect more waste that is strewn around with ease, and minimal amount of effort.
Named as ‘Gandhi Chhadi’, this innovative pricker, recognized by Ministry of Urban Development, provides a dignified and easy way of collecting plastic, paper and similar waste at amazing speed without touching the waste and in standing posture, without any need to constantly bend.
Picking up low gauge plastics, pouches, etc. is very laborious and does not even ensure a day’s wage. Because of this, most of the plastic pouches, carry bags and papers never make it to recycling stage.
Gandhi Chhadi, priced at just Rs. 250 uses a wood-screw mechanism at its end that pierces through the waste this enables rag pickers to pick up paper, cardboard, plastic sheets, rubber, cloth and plastic bottles from tricky areas like beaches, thorny and scrubby areas, gutters, river banks etc.
One can pick up 20-25 pieces of waste before needing to unload the collected waste in a bin or bag. This light-weight device, which comes with a telescopic handle to adjust as per the person’s height, is affordable, hygienic and hugely reduces manual effort.
The idea for Gandhi Chhadi was conceived by Dr. Chandak on Gandhi Jayanti, and hence the name. The biggest benefit of this device is that it can be used by any one, from a ragpicker to any person not specialized in garbage collection, and is an ideal tool for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.