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18,000 rural women from Karnataka undergo training for solid waste management

Around 18,000 rural women from Karnataka’s self-help groups are being trained to manage solid waste and utilise solar energy as part of the government’s push for clean energy and better waste management.

The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Energy and Development (MGIRED) is conducting the training sessions in partnership with the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, the Department of Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation, and the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).

The women will be engaged as “swachh karmikas” by panchayats to handle solid waste management such as daily waste collection, waste segregation, and driving “swacch vahinis”, according to a statement from the Jal Sakti ministry.

“The goal of the programme is to provide self-help group members with the knowledge and skills necessary to efficiently administer ‘swachh sankeerna’ as a business module and to make solid waste management self-sustaining, hence providing a source of financial assistance for self-help group members,” the ministry said.The five-day training programme includes travel and stay for three women from each gram panchayat in Karnataka.

Apart from solid waste management, the self-help group members will also learn about renewable energy sources, composting technologies for wet waste, the idea of biogas for managing biodegradable waste, and the importance of menstrual health.

The training spell includes a visit to a solid waste management unit at a nearby gram panchayat for practical understanding of primary segregation, secondary segregation and tendering.

The trainees will also visit biogas-to-electricity plants and take a look at commercial vermicompost methods at an agriculture college.