Free Spirit Award 2017: Waste Warriors
Waste Warriors is a not-for-profit organization and registered society committed to tackling India's garbage problem through direct action, liaison, and awareness raising.
Their vision is to see a clean India, where every citizen disposes of waste correctly and feels a sense of civic responsibility and national pride regarding cleanliness. Waste Warriors also strive for a healthier India with a better quality of life, where waste workers are valued and respected for their work, and live under improved working conditions.
Founded in 2012, Waste Warriors is headquartered in Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, and also operates in Bhagsu Nag, Himachal Pradesh, and in the Jim Corbett National Park region. At Waste Warriors Dharamshala, they operate a system for door-to-door collection of recyclable and non-recyclable waste from over 220 establishments.
They organize weekly clean-ups of tourist trails to Triund and Bhagsu waterfall, which receive heavy foot-traffic and are full of litter. They organise weekly clean-ups of local trails and conduct education programs with local schools, as well as raising awareness on waste management amongst the public through signboards and installation of public waste bins. They also approach local and state-level authorities to discuss and advocate for implementation of sustainable waste management practices.
Their website is WasteWarriors.org