According to the 2011 Census, 1.77 million people comprising men, women, children, elderly and the disabled are homeless and, on an average, nearly three homeless people are dying daily in the country (almost double the death rate of homicide). So, this innovative and eco-friendly solution by waste picker named Kamla in association with Plastic for Change India Foundation that works for the waste collectors across the coastal belt converted hard to recycle plastic waste into a building material that can be used to construct low-cost homes for a waste collector and poor homeless.
Shifrah Jacobs, Chief Impact Officer of the Foundation told Deccan Herald in an interview that “We are currently running social development programs in Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Karwar, Udupi, Hubballi and Dharwad region respectively and have provided support to approximately 10,000 waste-pickers across Karnataka so far. Two of the many communities that we are working with are located in Pachanady and Kurikatta, Mangaluru. The foundation has initiated multiple holistic interventions for the community here ranging from helping them gain access to social securities and identities, bank accounts and financial literacy, running health awareness and camps, education for children, nutrition for families, as well as conducting COVID-19 relief drives providing them with food rations and PPE kits”. She also added that “They have plans to construct 20 more houses in the second phase in which about 20 tonnes of plastic will be used”.
This INR 4.5 lakh recycled plastic home is about 350 square meter that has been constructed in association with a Hyderabad-based construction partner ‘Bamboo Project’ by nearly 1,500 Kg of plastic comprising low-density plastic (LSD), multi-layered plastic (MLP) and other plastic such as packets of tetra packs and gutka within 15 days. 60 such panels were used to construct this house.
Jayanthi, Project Coordinator told News Karnataka that “We have plans to construct much more houses for economically weaker sections with government support. The construction cost can be reduced to 3.5 lakh if more houses are constructed simultaneously”.
Apart from this innovative construction, the Plastic for Change India Foundation is continuously working with local communities in Pachanady and Kurikatta in Mangaluru for organizing online classes for 20 children in this area.