Nestlé India celebrates three years of the Hilldaari spirit in Mussoorie

Cabinet Minister speaking.HEIC

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Project Hilldaari by Nestlé India today celebrated three years of keeping Mussoorie clean and green. Over the years, the interventions have resulted in over 10,000 metric tonnes of solid waste being diverted from landfill through a multi-stakeholder collaboration involving municipal councils, citizens, contractors, waste workers and influencers.

To commemorate the journey of Hilldaari, an event was organised with participation from all stakeholders, highlighting glimpse of the interventions in previous years. The journey depicted how earlier all the waste from the city was being dumped in a 150-year-old landfill called Gaddikhana. The waste accumulation was not only polluting the air but also contaminating the main water source of the city. Through collective efforts over the years, waste is now sent for recycling and processing to Sheeshambara Facility in Dehradun. The local residents are participating in waste segregation to ensure sustainable waste management. Public spaces have been beautified with wall paintings and portraits of waste workers, waste to art installations and upcycled waste infrastructure, spreading the awareness around cleanliness and waste segregation and influencing people not to litter.

Commenting on the journey, Mr. Sanjay Khajuria, Director – Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India said, “At its core, the Hilldaari initiative believes that all of us have something to contribute to make this world a better place. Many stakeholders have joined hands as part of the Hilldaari initiative, this has helped in managing solid waste as well as working towards bringing about a sustainable change and protecting the environment. By fostering a collaborative approach towards waste management, it is our belief that there is every chance the impact will sustain even in the long term.’’

Ms. Jyoti Mhapsekar, President, Stree Mukti Sanghatana further added, “We are honoured to work on a unique project that has collectiveness and inclusivity as its core values. The beauty of the project Hilldaari lies in how it ensures the value derived out of well-functioned and efficient waste management system reaches to the last mile stakeholder who is marginalised and is at the bottom of the waste supply chain – our formal & informal waste workers. It is a great pride for us that today entire waste workforce of nearly 200 in Mussoorie has been professionalized and informal women waste pickers has been united to form SHG and on their way to create alternate sources of income for themselves.”

Ms. Meha Lahiri, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Recity Network also stated on the occasion “We are extremely happy to see how our waste intelligence technology and the support of our partners, city administration and residents have revolutionised the waste management of Mussoorie. Our collective vision of making Mussoorie, a model city in terms of solid waste management for hill cities across India has been realized. A model we believe is scalable, inclusive, contextualised and resilient in its characteristics.”

During the pandemic, the Hilldaari team extended further support by organizing virtual training for waste workers to help them adapt to the changes in the new normal, equipping them with safer working conditions. They were provided with PPE kits and safety kits and trained how to use it. Trainings were also provided on how to collect waste with minimum contact, ensure proper sanitation and safety. Waste workers were also trained to use smartphones and digital monitoring apps required for monitoring the collection and segregation of waste.