17-year-old Sanjana Runwal spearheads activities of the Clean Up Foundation, an NGO that drives initiatives directed at enhancing the lives of sanitation workers of Mumbai. The Clean-Up Foundation has developed a home loan app for them. This Diwali, she aims to brighten up the lives of the sanitation workers by helping them obtain their own house.
The app will help the sanitation workers in getting information about organized housing finance options and assist them in calculating their eligibility, equated monthly instalments (EMIs) etc in 4 very easy steps, based their income. Most of these workers are currently dependent on individual money lenders for their loan and finance requirements, often getting exploited in the process. This app is a step towards creating awareness about proper housing finance options and educating them about the same.
The app was formally launched in the presence of Suresh Kakani, Additional Commissioner of BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the governing civic body of Mumbai, along with Sanjana. On behalf of BMC, Kakani congratulated Sanjana on her commendable work and wished her success in her future endeavours to bring a positive change in the society. He urged her to continue with such initiatives in future as well.
Recently, Sanjana was honoured with a Certificate of Appreciation by Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Minister of Housing, Maharashtra State and Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra for her exemplary work: a research paper on ‘Affordable Housing Solutions for Garbage Workers’ of the city. Her research report was submitted to the Government of Maharashtra so that the solutions suggested in the research can be considered while framing housing policies by the state for the welfare of this particular segment of the society.
Said Sanjana, “Our aim is to improve the living conditions of the sanitation workers who live in deplorable conditions. After conducting much research, we identified that they do not have proper housing in spite of having an adequate income. This home loan app is a small step taken by us in trying to help them explore organized channels of housing finance. Currently, the garbage workers mostly depend on channels such as money lenders, private lenders, etc where they end up paying very high interest rates and are exploited by them. This app will also help them to check their loan eligibility, calculate their EMIs and will pave a way for them to connect with the right home-finance institutions.”
The Clean Up Foundation’s activities include providing clean drinking water facilities, safety gear, healthy meals, education finance for children of solid waste workers, Covid-19 vaccination drives for ragpickers and other similar activities. The affordable housing for solid waste workers will contribute to the welfare of society by uplifting this underprivileged section, as well as add to the city’s long-term development by improving the efficiency of these workers in keeping our city clean.