Pune’s SWaCH wastepicker cooperative, the KKPKP waste-picker trade union and PMC — kicked off a massive, city-wide “Red Dot” campaign on Tuesday. Aimed at improving the way residents dispose of their sanitary waste (diapers and sanitary napkins). Volunteers are using their creativity to request people to securely wrap their sanitary waste in a newspaper and mark it with a red dot.
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SWaCH is rolling their Red Dot message across the town by stencil painting Red Dot image to the sides of SWaCH pushcarts.
The campaign launched a startling but charming one-minute Red Dot video, which is being shared via WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube and the SWaCH website http://www.swachcoop.com.
The Red Dot campaign is producing an array of creative materials to engage Puneites from all walks of life. With its stickers, posters, t-shirts, mugs, and even mini paper pushcarts making their way into the public, soon you will no longer be able to avoid the subject of sanitary waste disposal. “SWaCH manages 20 tonnes of unwrapped sanitary waste every day, which is a serious health risk for us. Now it’s time for citizens to take closer look at this problem and show their support by wrapping and marking their sanitary waste,” said SWaCH wastepicker Mangal Gaikwad, who is also featured in the Red Dot video.
For easy wrapping of sanitary waste, Red Dot paperbags can be purchased from SWaCH. SWaCH hopes that other businesses will follow suite and will start distributing their own Red Dot bags and educational signs across the city.
Residents who do not support the Red Dot initiative may soon get a knock on their door, as SWaCH wastepickers are being trained to conduct extensive door-to-door outreach on the subject. The campaign coincides with a year-long training program for SWaCH workers to improve their advocacy capacity and awareness of sanitation issues. For example, they are learning that unwrapped sanitary waste exposes them to harmful pathogens like staphylococcus, hepatitis, E coli, Salmonella, Typhoid, etcetera.
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