Microcredit and recycling in Poonjeri Masima Nagar

Malar Trust helps a senior Masima Nagar citizen to start a waste collection business

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A senior citizen of Masima Nagar, a community in the Poonjeri village where Malar Trust India has its headquarters, asked for help in setting up an independent recyclable waste collection business. The man had already been collecting waste for a local business man: by foot, with a large sac on his shoulder, being paid little and on a day by day basis, he tried rounding off his salary by selling coconuts along the state highway.

Our friend met the Malar Trust India while its staff was bringing aid to his community during last year’s flood in November. He asked for information on the association and found out that it was possible to request interest-free loans to develop small businesses. From that moment on, he began planning how to start a business of his own to earn a better salary and therefore allow himself and his family to lead a more dignified life. After months of pondering he reached the conclusion that in order to earn enough by working alone he had to increase his daily waste collection: this meant that he needed some sort oftechnological “help”.

Today, one year later, his project has finally seen the light! With a 15000 rupees (about 200 euros) loan by Malar Trust, Pachaiyappan bought a bicycle with an attached cart thus becoming a real entrepreneur!

By using his vehicle, our friend can now collect waste from a much larger area in less time and without as much strain. He can load the cart with way more waste than he could possibly ever carry on his shoulders and then easily bring it to the collection and resale centers.

His daily tally of items collected on the roadsides and while going house to house mostly consists of plastic bottles, glass and scraps of iron. These are all recyclable materials which would only contribute to the filth and pollution already plaguing Indian villages if it weren’t for the daily and tiring work of humble, hardworking people like him who remove this waste from the streets and turn it into an income.

With his bicycle cart this man can now provide for his family of 6 children, some of whom are very young because even though he is over 60 years old, this is his second marriage and his wife is many years younger than him.

The 15000 rupees loan will be paid off without any interest in 30 monthly installments of 500 rupees each. This is a reasonable figure compared to the business monthly income (estimated at 4000 to 6000 rupees per month).

For once, economy and ecology really do go hand in hand!