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Thanks to women, Ambikapur becomes first waste-free town in Chhattisgarh

Town adopts solid and liquid resource management method to solve the problem of urban waste

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

swachh bharat, swachh, garbage, clean city
File photo of a Swachh Bharat campaign in New Delhi.

Clad in green and trudging the streets of a sleepy town with their rickshaws painted in bright green and red are the women of in who have become an unmistakable part of the city’s identity.

Women are not only making money out of garbage but have set a precedent in the Swachh Bharat campaign by making the town, housing a population of over 1,25,000, waste free. is the first town in the state to adopt Solid Liquid Resource Management (SLRM) method to solve the problem of urban waste.

“The model of cleanliness adopted in would be followed across the state,” said Chief Minister  

The project started in June 2015 with several training programmes being organised for women hailing from the economically weaker section (EWS) category.  Among the trained women were widows and divorcees. During the conceptualisation phase of SLRM, it was decided to exclusively engage women Self Help Groups (SHGs) of the tow, which is acts as the divisional headquarters of Sarguja.

More than 400 women are working in the 48 wards, collecting source-segregated waste every day and depositing them at the SLRM centre in each ward. The organic waste is used to make a compost, while the inorganic waste is segregated into 158 categories after cleaning it further.

At present, the project draws funds from external sources but this is going to change soon as the ervice is made chargeable. Households and commnercial establishments will be charged for the service. Apart from this, sale of compost, re-used and recycled materila is also likely to help in making the service self sustaining.

A significant amount is also collected from scraps that are sold to vendors dealing with different grades of scrap. By taking these measures, project aims to provide a sum of Rs 5,000 at elast to each working member of the group.

Moreover, the project has digitised much of its processes to ensure transparency.