eArth Samvarta Foundation (eSF) is working on “Saryu Nandini” (daughters of the Saryu River) -an entrepreneurial program that solves two of India’s greatest challenges – poverty & degradation of our rivers. eSF’s Saryu Nandini program aims to help women (belonging to backward local communities of the Saryu River ecosystem) to overcome poverty while protecting the great Saryu river, in Faizabad (Ayodhya), Uttar Pradesh, from the threat of solid waste & pollution. eSF would help with employment & skill development for the women entrepreneurs (“Saryu Nandinis”) to create waste to wealth products.
The women would be trained to motivate households to segregate waste at source, identify & collect waste artefacts to ultimately turn waste into profitable products. eSF would also help with market access for the products made by the women. eSF’s Saryu Nandini contributes to our country’s efforts in Nari Shakti, Make in India, Swachch Bharat, Swachch Indhan-Behtar Jivan & much more. The Saryu Nandini Entrepreneurship Program also converges eSF’s efforts in Waste to Clean Energy (through Biogas technology) and Environmental Education for youth (eSF’s Sentinels Program on Environment Education).
The Saryu River is the largest tributary of the Ganga (by volume) & is home to the endangered Gangetic Dolphins. eSF’s Saryu Nandini (Daughters of Saryu River) program trains women of low income community, along Saryu River in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, to create profitable products out of items that would otherwise be discarded as waste & damage the Saryu River.
Stepwise Implementation Plan
- Identify female beneficiaries of the Saryu Nandini initiative based on socio-economic backwardness & a passion for entrepreneurship.
- The Saryu Nandinis would be trained in 2 mains skill sets: product development (motivate segregation at source, collection of waste, & creating products) and Business operations (sales, accounting, e-commerce etc.)
- Sample upcycled objects include compost, potpourri, stationery, bird feeders, piggy banks, pen holders, doormats, biogas, etc.
- An Entrepreneurial Leadership Cell set up in eSF’s partner schools & colleges. The E-Cell will encourage a knowledge and skills exchange between young students and the Saryu Nandinis in product development from waste, sales, financial management, e- commerce, public speaking & raising awareness
- Business Models- Door to Door & Collaborative (snack shops, boatmen, temple shops, beauty parlours, mainstream shops, exhibitions & training institutes will be persuaded to keep a few samples of the products in their facilities in lieu of a marginal profit share) finally culminating into physical shops set up by the Saryu Nandinis.
- An Advisory cell with women business leaders will be set up by eSF for a continuous partnership & guidance of the local women.
- eSF would support with training, knowledge & fundraising with support from private benefactors, CSR, crowdfunding & public sector aid (under NRLM, MUDRA yojana, Skill India, Mahila-e-haat and Make in India)
Thus, eSF’s Saryu Nandini initiative empowers the local women with income generation, protects the Saryu River & its biodiversity from mounting landfills & also fights climate change.
Benefits of the Saryu Nandini Entrepreneurship Program
eSF’s Saryu Nandini (Daughters of Saryu River) initiative would train women in creating profitable products out of waste. This would lead to socio-economic empowerment & ecological conservation.
- Socio-economic empowerment of women: The primary objective of this initiative is to provide a sustainable livelihood option for the women of the Saryu River community and translate into higher female labour participation & independence of women. This will lead to their own empowerment as well as improved health & education for their family. It would also help them save their male relatives from poverty driven crimes like wildlife and illicit alcohol smuggling.
- Eradicate stigma against ragpickers: By showing how waste can be turned into wealth & can also help conserve the Saryu River.
- Ecological Benefits: The Saryu Nandini program will ensure that lesser solid waste ends up in landfills & in the river basin. This will lead to a direct minimisation of water pollution, soil pollution & damage to the native flora & fauna of the basin.
- Climate Change Mitigation: Saryu Nandinis will also be trained to convert waste into compost which would lead to reduction of chemical fertilisers usage. Producing Biogas would reduce use of polluting fuels like fuelwood & kerosene. This ultimately would reduce greenhouse gases, mitigate global warming & contribute to India’s INDCs under the Paris Agreement.
- Promote Tourism in Ayodhya: A clean, aesthetically pleasing, river basin will attract tourists & increase income of the local community.
- Skill development & awareness: Saryu Nandinis would motivate households to ensure waste segregation at source which propels eSF’s goal of 100% waste segregation at source in the next five years in the Saryu River basin in Faizabad, UP.
- Social dignity & pride: eSF expects Saryu Nandinis to lead change, sensitisation, happiness & wellness in the community as the society becomes more equitable, broadens its horizons & creates a clean, healthy environment with social dignity.