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Saamuhika Shakti - in solidarity with waste pickers

Saamuhika Shakti, the initiative in solidarity with waste pickers aims to improve the quality of life of informal waste pickers and their families in bengaluru by building resilient systemic change in the waste management ecosystem over a period of three years. this project is supported by the H&M Foundation and follows the collective impact methodology.

collective impact methodology

collective Impact methodology brings together different organizations in a structured manner to achieve social change.


starts with a common agenda, which means coming together to collectively define the problem and create a shared vision to solve it.


establishes shared measurement, which means agreeing to track progress in the same way, which allows for continuous improvement.

mutually reinforcing activities

fosters mutually reinforcing activities, which means coordinating collective efforts to maximize the end result.

continuous communication

encourages continuous communication, which means building trust and relationships among all participants.


has a strong backbone, which means having a team dedicated to orchestrating the work of the group.

as the ‘Backbone Organization’ of this initiative, The/Nudge Foundation is responsible to both help maintain overall strategic coherence and coordinates, and manage the day-to-day operations and implementation of work, including stakeholder engagement, communications, data collection and analysis, and other responsibilities.

this is a first of its kind pilot in India where different partner organisations are joining forces to take a holistic approach to improve the living conditions of  informal waste pickers. the initiative aims to enable the waste pickers’ community to have greater agency to lead secure and dignified lives, and also has a strong focus on equity, addressing the basic needs of marginalized groups such as women and girls (in waste picker households).

key goals

Saamuhika Shakti will focus on 6 outcomes, based on assessing the needs and aspirations of waste picker households through in-depth consumer research and expert consultations. It will also ensure that women, girls, and other vulnerable groups have equitable access to these outcomes.  the outcomes are:

waste pickers’ families have higher and more stable income
waste pickers’ families have have improved/safer working conditions
waste pickers’ have the ability to move to alternate professions if they so desire.
waste pickers’ families access affordable and quality services enabled by the public sector (eg. education and private sector)
establishing support systems for victims of violence and substance abuse among waste pickers’ families
people of Bengaluru recognize and respect the value of waste picking

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