Project Hilldaari supported by Nestlé India, and implemented by PLAN Foundation and technical partner, Recity India has expanded its footprint to Darjeeling in West Bengal. Project Hilldaari has been conceptualized to develop inclusive, contextualised, and resilient models for solid and plastic waste management at select tourist cities of India. The project is currently operational in Mussoorie, Mahabaleshwar, Ponda, Dalhousie and Munnar.
As a part of the launch, a roundtable discussion was organized with all stakeholders to discuss the issues related to plastic waste and ways to manage them. Around 40 people from civil society, associations and NGOs attended the launch.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sanjay Khajuria, Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé India said, “Project Hilldaari has been growing from strength to strength. We are delighted to begin this journey in Darjeeling. We are confident that through collective participation of local bodies, citizens, tourists, and civil societies, we will be able to positively contribute to the idea of a waste-free future.”
Congratulating Nestlé India, PLAN Foundation and Recity Network on the launch of Project Hilldaari, Mr. Dipen Thakuri, Chairman, Darjeeling Municipality said, “Darjeeling attracts more than 7 lakh tourists every year. With this number going up in future, we foresee an increase in the quantity of solid waste. We appreciate Nestlé India, along with implementation partner PLAN Foundation and technical partner Recity Network and other stakeholders for initiating a systematic approach through Project Hilldaari towards holistic waste management solutions in the city. I am hopeful Darjeeling will be an example for other cities to follow.”
Ms. Neha Sasikumar, Director, PLAN Foundation said, “It gives us immense pleasure to bring Project Hilldaari to Darjeeling. With the reputation of being one of the most beautiful hill stations of the country, Darjeeling has attracted tourists from across the globe. This presents us with an opportunity to better manage the solid waste generated in the city and we are confident that the project would have a positive impact on it.”
Project Hilldaari in its 5 existing locations across India has diverted more than 27,000 MT of waste from landfill through source segregation. 80% of source segregation has been achieved across more than 20,000 residential and commercial waste collection points.
Hilldaari believes that every member of the society can contribute towards making a positive change. These partnerships invoke a sense of solidarity and collective spirit among citizens. The initiative is progressively working towards professionalizing waste workers towards segregation of waste at source through a multi-collaborative approach with municipal councils, citizens, contractors, waste workers and influencers. Through Project Hilldaari over 560 waste workers have trained to become a crucial part of behaviour change interventions. The project has also given them formal recognition with occupational ID, benefits such as health insurance, protective gear necessary for their work and other such benefits.
Project Hilldaari envisions establishing Darjeeling as one of the cleanest tourist cities in India. This can be achieved through positive behaviour change within the city on source segregation and engaging with waste workers to professionalize them with support from local administration.
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