Sashakt Foundation an NGO working in the field of waste management and adolsescent girl upliftment was established in October 2016 by Pratik Kumar who is a social sector specialist having a career spanning almost three decades in the UN, Indian Government, National and International NGOs, and the private sector. The word ‘Sashakt’ is a Hindi word that means ‘empowered’ or ‘strengthened’. Sashakt Foundation believes that the human race and the natural habitat need to thrive together for mankind to be better off in the long run. We believe in creating a future where mankind is empowered and mother-nature strengthened because only together we can ensure benefits can be sustained. While the task looks enormous, we had to make a start somewhere. This is where Sashakt has chosen to focus on catalytic spaces that will have a multiplier effect on how people and planet can do better, potentially forever. In the people space we work with Adolescent girls and the planet space we work on Waste Management.
Sashakt Foundation focuses on the following areas of work:
· Waste management
· Upliftment of Adolescent Girls
Waste Management Programme
While many of us are concerned about the irreversible damage that we causing to mother earth, most of us also feel what can one about it as an individual. How can an individual make a difference? Issues like climate change, air pollution, water pollution etc. are very relevant but individuals struggle to find their roles in such over-arching problems. However, every individual or a household generates waste of varying quantities. If they learn how to manage it effectively, they can contribute immensely to the future of the planet. Simple methods around waste segregation ensure effective utilisation of waste for gainful use maximizes recycling and minimizes hazardous dumping at landfills. Further it raises the consciousness of individuals to become responsible for their actions including reducing exploitation of natural resources. Only such responsible behaviour can ensure that the generations to come have a decent future.
Sashakt proposes the following method to make a difference in waste management.
· Education around waste segregation and management
· Demonstration of waste segregation at household and community levels
· Waste recycling and disposal
· Improving landfill practices
· Providing dignity and technology to waste handlers
Work being done in waste Management
At Housing Societies
1. Awareness campaigns – Building community level awareness on the reason and merits of waste segregation and changing behaviours.
2. Waste segregation – Segregating waste at household level. Providing two bins for the same. Training waste workers on collection techniques.
3. Composting – Imparting the knowledge of composting technologies to society members and waste workers. Setting up mini composting equipment at societies.
4. Working with waste workers – Provide livelihood opportunity to rig pickers and improving their dignity. Providing them the required knowledge and training for the segregation of waste at the source level. Providing them uniforms and ID cards.
At school level
Sashkat has developed school education programme to sensitise the young people at an early age. The content includes awareness around responsible waste management, reuse and recycle and proper hygiene practices. Students are trained through activities, sessions and small projects are given to them to understand the concept.. Sashakt is working through the eco clubs of the schools, in case there are not any, new ones are set up. School education programme is there going on in one school, Bopal Prathmik Shala, Bopal, Ahmedabad.
Adolescent Girls Programme
Adolescent girls are the vital link to bringing about permanent positive changes in society. An empowered adolescent girl is more likely to stay in school, marry late, face less gender violence, have more control over her agency, have better livelihood prospects, survive child birth, have healthier babies, use FP choices, ensure her children go to school and do better. This is most likely to breaks the vicious cycle of underdevelopment for generations. Sashakt believes that a holistic approach is the best way to address the challenges that have their origins in societal practice performed over generations.
We believe that inputs must be provided in the following areas to ensure long term benefits for adolescent girls.
· Life skills
· Menstrual and sexual health
· Gender and gender based violence
· Leadership skills
· Employability and vocational skills