Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Year 2020 proved to be unique for Mangaluru based Anti Pollution Drive Foundation (APDF). While APDF reached out to hundreds of needy people with food and relief during Covid lockdown, the ongoing activity of building toilets for needy homes continued unabated. APDF, along with Hasiru Dala, attained success in its initiatives for providing welfare to waste pickers and bringing them into the mainstream of society. APDF-Hasiru Dala partnership also resulted in sustainable, result-oriented projects to provide long-lasting solutions for healthy waste disposal.
During the year, APDF launched a major initiative in advocacy and awareness by launching interactive online programmes to reach larger audiences. "Despite the dark mood of the times, 2020 will go down in history as the year that changed the world. As an environmental and social NGO, APD Foundation felt an instinctive need to respond to the crisis situation brought about by the pandemic in pragmatic ways and renew our commitment to society and the environment," says Abdullah A. Rehman, Founder and CEO of APD Foundation.
The Covid-19 global pandemic proved to be most challenging for all sectors of society. Infusing hope and responding proactively to the emerging situation was the need of the hour. APDF rose to the challenge and initiated a series of activities with an increased humanitarian focus. In the month of April and May, Hasiru Dala and APDF set up a community kitchen and undertook a massive drive to distribute safety kits, medicines and food to about 200 migrant workers, homeless people and waste pickers every day in and around Mangalore.
After the lockdown was relaxed, PPE kits were distributed to 35 waste pickers to enable them to resume work and ensure their safety. APDF volunteers were constantly in touch with the affected communities throughout the six month period of lockdown and post lockdown to ensure their welfare. "This experience that we gained during the pandemic response gave us new perspectives to the human dimensions of our activities," says Abdullah Rehman.
Toilet Construction Continues
Prathi Manege Souchalaya (PRMS) project continued during the pre-lockdown and post lockdown periods. Under this project, we provided free toilets to needy families who do not have their own toilet. This year two toilets (10th and 11th) were constructed for the benefit of families residing at Urwa Store and Ashok Nagar respectively. The youth of the locality helped in the construction of the toilets and the Lions Club of Mangalore-Balmatta donated a part of the cost. Donation boxes were also placed at several public venues around Mangalore for fund generation for the project.
Solid Waste Management
The first Dry Waste Collection Centre (DWCC) was set up at Ullal as a model project in association with Ullal Nagara Sabha. Waste pickers were engaged in the collection of dry waste from bulk generators. It is proposed to establish similar DWCCs at other places in and around Mangalore. The initiative was also undertaken to commence working with Someshwara Panchayat about waste management.
Throughout the year Hasiru Dala and APDF undertook a survey to identify the hot spots for waste entering the water bodies. As a result of this survey, a campaign to prevent the dumping of waste at Netravathi Bridge was formulated for launch in January 2021. A beach cleanup programme at Thota Bengre was undertaken on the 26th of January with 120 volunteers from St. Aloysius College.
Highlighting important issues and urgent needs as well as giving the right feedback for policy formulation by the government plays an important role in a democratic society. During the year APDF wrote an appeal to the Prime Minister to officially recognize healthcare workers who died on duty during the Covid pandemic as 'Covid Saviours' and to give compensation and social security benefits to their families, similar to the practice of soldiers who sacrifice their lives for the country.
APDF also responded to the Union Environment Ministry's invitation to the public for giving feedback on the draft National Environmental Policy / Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). A detailed review of the draft policy was presented and numerous modifications and improvements were suggested. Articles based on a review of the policy were also released to the mass media to mould public opinion.
Waste Pickers Welfare
The welfare of waste pickers continued to remain in focus throughout the year. Hasiru Dala and APDF undertook a survey to enumerate the number of waste pickers, sorters and scrap shops in and around Mangalore. Based on our initiative, Mangaluru City Corporation provided occupational Identity Cards to 156 waste pickers on Gandhi Jayanthi Day. This will pave the way for the waste pickers to gain mainstream recognition and a better future. Distribution of books and stationery was undertaken to support the education of waste pickers. A medical camp was held at Pachchanady. Monthly meetings were held for increasing their social security.
Adaptation to Online
With the world moving towards digital technology, APDF launched 'APD Applied', a unique talk show which is being hosted regularly on social media to promote sustainable living concepts and create awareness. A webinar was held with MCC to create awareness and discuss issues relating to waste management.
"We at APD Foundation are thankful to the numerous people who have supported us, especially the donors who contributed money and materials for Covid relief work. We are grateful to Hasiru Dala, a reputed Bangalore based NGO, for their continuous partnership with us, to Samvada, a youth-based NGO, who joined hands with us during COVID work and the Lions Club of Mangalore-Balmatta who gave their support for Prathi Manege Souchalaya (PRMS) project," said Abdullah A. Rehman.
To support contact:
APD Foundation Office
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