27 January, 2021

Naya Savera, the waste management project with a social spin-off

Naya Savera, the waste management project with a social spin-off
Technology is cold and research labs ivory towers of fantasy. Putting this myth on its head are two professors from the Indian Institute of Technology (iit) Delhi, who have spun off a not-for-profit waste management organisation called Naya Savera (New Dawn). It isn't often that a classroom exercise grows into a project that gives permanent livelihood to people, many of whom have lived on the edge of survival for years as daily-wagers.

When G.V. Soumitri, associate professor at the Instrument Design and Development Centre at iit Delhi, gave his class an assignment in 1998, he had no idea he was setting into motion a process that would culminate in an ngo. The students were asked to provide a solution to the garbage problem in the campus and the solutions suggested went beyond garbage collection and disposal. Instead, they advised waste segregation at source and then composting the kitchen waste on site. The medical waste would go to an incinerator and that of any value sold.

Impressed by the robustness of the solution, iit asked Soumitri to carry this out as a...


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