Domestic help/maids have now become a necessity for almost all households in India. Presently, with the average citizen working in the 9-5 shift or more, basic household chores need to be taken care of. It becomes essential that you hire the right person for all these activities that affect your day-to-day lives.
Some of the cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad have several high-rise apartments with 700+ people residing in the same. The amount of domestic help available in such apartments should also be abundant? But this is not the case and the simple rule of economics that demand generates supply fails here. Finding domestic help is not easy irrespective of where you stay or how much you can pay. Sooner or later you do go through the pain of finding the right domestic help and retaining the same. Essentially, the story remains the same whether you reside in a big apartment or small: demands by the domestic staff for salary hikes are too frequent and largely unaffordable.
How can you tackle this problem?
Tips to standardise domestic help rates:
Prepare a rate card for all the household activities and ask residents to pay only that much.
Every maid needs to carry a No-objection-certificate from her previous employer so that the prospective employer ensures she/he is not switching jobs for money.
Residents are requested not to deviate from the rate card.
Any domestic help asking for more than the agreed rates are penalized.
Pitfalls of standardised rates:
The question that arises from the above pointers is that how easy is it to apply these rules to housing societies. A lot of residents were happy with the above-mentioned resolutions, however, some disagreed to the resolutions claiming that they were quite capitalist in nature and if doctors/engineers can demand their price, why can’t the domestic help do the same? The whole demand and supply economics lies in the scenario that if you can afford a maid for Rs. 8,000 and can very well afford it, it doesn’t matter to you if others in the apartment are paying Rs. 3,000. The others sooner or later will have to succumb to the so-called “market rate” pressure and increase the salary bars.
The resolutions mentioned above can only work if people living in an apartment work as a team with their associations and come to a common resolution wherein neither the domestic help is exploited nor are the employers blackmailed for sudden pay hikes.
Until then people with maids/drivers working with you for more than a year, good luck in maintaining them. For people searching for a good domestic help, best of luck for your quest to find the right domestic help!
Vehicle Tracking of is one of the key responsibilities for security guards of every apartment. In addition, Vehicle Security itself is a very important issue for every society. With theft of vehicles increasing, it has become an imperative for societies to address this issue. How would one know whether their vehicle is safe and is still at the same place they left it? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to keep track of your vehicle’s movement whenever you are not using it?
The system in most housing societies:
“Parking lot stickers” are issued to vehicle owners. These are stuck to windshields. Vehicles are permitted entry into a complex after the sticker is verified by the security guard. However, since there is no way to “deactivate” the sticker the entry of unauthorized vehicles even after they left the society cannot be controlled. Further, there is no record or log of the entry or exit of vehicles of the residents. In case of a security issue, this can be a major shortcoming.
Vehicle Sentry is a Vehicle Tracking System that is RFID based and fully integrated with the ApnaComplex cloud. At a broad level, Vehicle Sentry includes RFID tags for all authorized vehicles and RFID readers at the gate. This allows you to track the movement of your vehicle when it exits or enters the apartment gate.
How does Vehicle Sentry work?
Authorized vehicles are first fitted with RFID tags. Next, RFID readers are installed at the gates. These Readers come with ApnaComplex’s own custom hardware called ‘Sentry Controller’ that acts as the gateway between ApnaComplex Cloud and the RFID Readers. Sentry Controller helps sync the vehicle entry, and exit information to the ApnaComplex cloud server in near real-time, and also keeps the reader in sync with tags issued for new vehicles and de-activated tag list.
Important features of Vehicle Sentry:
When a Vehicle with valid tag passes near the gate, the light/buzzer connected to the reader will buzz indicating the detection.
It can also be configured to hoot for invalid tags.
It can be hooked up with a boom barrier for automatic entry/exit.
Vehicle movement information will get automatically synced up with the ApnaComplex portal.
Admins can check the vehicle movement records any time in the portal.
Data of any new tags issues or old tags deactivated will automatically update the RFID reader (as long as it has internet connectivity)
Benefits of Vehicle Sentry:
Increased security in your society:
The movement of every vehicle entering and leaving the campus can be tracked, making it more secure. Unwanted intrusion is avoided with the use of Vehicle Sentry.
Easy and quick Updates:
All the data for your entire apartment complex is stored in a single database. Any other RFID solution you implement will force you to maintain separate databases for vehicles and apartment units. This means you need to manually update the same information over and over again. Vehicle Sentry is an integrated solution and redundant efforts do not come into the picture.
No extra hardware is needed apart from RFID reader installed at the gate. All functionalities are driven from the ApnaComplex portal. Your estate manager can issue and deactivate tags to be updated to the portal. In addition, you could just deploy the vehicle movement tracking with our boom barrier, making it very cost effective for the housing society.
This is yet another innovative approach by ApnaComplex to keep your mind free from worry while providing you with the best services possible. To know more about Vehicle Sentry and to implement it in your society, kindly submit a sales request at the Contact Us page and we will get back to you with the details.
Just off Nice Road, in Mallasandra, lies one of Bangalore’s well-known high rise apartments – Purva Highland. Perched on a hillock, this apartment complex boasts breathtaking views and a list of luxuries for both, body and mind. This society has 13 towers, each 20 stories high and a one-of-a-kind 3-tiered pool.
The apartment complex stretches over a huge plot of land and hosts more than a 1500 flats. This society provides a number of amenities and luxuries – a tennis court, a basketball court, a three-tier swimming pool, a medical store, a cafeteria, a supermarket, are just a few of the many, that are housed inside the gates of this society. Couples, children, bachelors, elderly, this community has a bit of everything. With so many people living in one place, using all these facilities, naturally, the managing committee has its work cut out.
Managing an apartment complex is just like managing a mini-city
So how does the committee manage everything? According to Mr. Ravi Shripathi, Secretary, the managing committee was founded in 2015. “There are three principal office bearers president, secretary, treasurer. Apart from this, there are nine blocks in the complex. Each block has its own Vice President. Besides this, we have many sub-committees like the Green Committee, Library Committee, Sports Committee, Evacuation Committee, and more, who work closely with our office bearers.”
All these committees comprise of volunteers who have decided to work in their free time towards making their communities run smoothly. But it is easier said than done. A big apartment complex is like a mini-city. And like any mini-city, there are problems that keep cropping up, decisions that have to be made, plans that have to be executed. This requires time from each committee member which, sometimes, is more than they can spare.
Using ApnaComplex as a force multiplier
This is where newer technologies come to the rescue of managing committees. Being a fully integrated apartment management platform, ApnaComplex uses technology to reduce the workload of both residents and managing committee members.
Take billing, collections and accounting as an example. According to the Estate Manager, Mr. Shaman Joshi, “Previously, we had to rely on accountants who came in. I had no control over it at all. I was completely dependent on the accountant. Now, using the ApnaComplex App, I can generate our invoices myself. There is no more dependency.”
When asked how this has made things easier he replied, “Everything is faster and more convenient now. Earlier we had a big ledger we had to go through to list out all our defaulters for the month. Now it is no longer manual. The app automatically generates a defaulter list that we just need to send.”
Or security, another big challenge for the size of a community like Purva Highland. “As just a resident, I thought of ApnaComplex as just an accounting software,”says Mr. Shripathi,“Now as a Secretary, I saw all the other options available. We have been using ApnaComplex Gatekeeper for almost a month now. The response has been positive. We are planning on introducing biometrics soon.”
When asked what the ultimate goal of this was, he replied, “We have tons of manual registers that have been maintained over the years. Eventually, I want to get rid of it all and move to a strictly electronic records.”
From a library to a health spa, Purva Highland has a little bit for everyone. This society and its committee strive to make its residents happy, comfortable and safe. ApnaComplex commends the committee on their work and hopes our service continues to aid them.
There are many things one must consider before choosing to rent a flat in any apartment building. We, at Apnacomplex, list out the things we think you should keep in mind before renting that flat.
Budget – Always consider your budget carefully before deciding to take up any flat on rent. The things to consider would be; gross rent paid, deposit, maintenance, and upkeep. All those things need to factor into your decision to rent out a flat. Generally, things work up to 1.2x of the gross rent. So assuming your rent to be 10000 per month, you’ll eventually end up paying 12000 per month all things included. Once you know what the rent of your new flat will be, factor in your household income. As a rule of thumb, it is ok to spend 30% of your household income on rent in any given month. Once you have your budget sorted out, looking for a place can be much easier and less time consuming.
Broker Vs. No broker – getting a local broker can be a good way to increase your awareness of apartments in your area of choice. But then there’s the dreaded issue of brokerage, the one thing we never wish to pay (Trust me, I’m regretting paying brokerage as I write this article). Going on online sites can be a healthy start too, but what you see is not always what you get with online real estate listings, so it might take you longer than anticipated when you take that route. The only trait you’ll need is patience and you might just find the right fit searching online. In our experience, some of the best deals are available on classified newspapers and online portals (Please check https://www.apnacomplex.com/classifieds). You’ll be surprised at the deals you find there.
Be specific – If you’re experienced in renting out a place, you’ll probably be aware of these factors more or less, if not, then here’s the stuff that you’ll need to make that house a home.
Check the amount of noise in that area – having religious institutions nearby might be good for your piety but can have a disastrous effect on your sleep schedule.
Check if household services are available in that area – From dry cleaning to housekeepers, there are many areas where these basic services are difficult to come by, so ensure that you’re not making your life more difficult in the future.
Check power outage cycles – some areas are notorious for a number of power cuts that occur there. So make sure your apartment provides for power backup or there are limited power outages there.
Check water limitations – Water is considered the element of life, so maybe having a check on whether your apartment is equipped with rainwater harvesting or has some water facility to meet demand and supply will benefit you. Else you won’t have to option but to literally air your dirty laundry.
Check the contract – Contracts are mandatory if you’re taking a flat on rent legally. Yes, we’re putting it that way because taking a flat legally benefits you more than the landlord. Here is a snapshot of things you need to look out for while taking you flat on rent:
Contract dates – check when your contract starts and ends. Yes, you’ll be surprised at how many people miss this.
Termination clauses – This is the most highlight-able area of your rental contract. Check to see if “My sister wants to come and stay” is a valid reason. Else, you can’t be evicted if you pay your rent on time.
Penalties – Generally most flats have a one month rent as a penalty from their deposit. But make sure you’re aware of that clause in your contract.
Repairs – Most contracts are segregated into major repairs and minor repairs. Major repairs are undertaken by the owner and minor repairs are undertaken by the tenant. So be sure to look out for that.
Guests – Check to see if there’s any limitation on guests allowed. Contracts generally mirror society rules on such issues, so if your society limits guests then it’s better that you’re aware of what needs to be done.
Rent renewal – arguably the most important part of your contract, check on the terms of a renewal. If there’s no renewal clause, push for it to be added in. Assuming you’re not going to move out of the house for the foreseeable future, it’s unjust to randomly have your rent increased on renewal. In our experience, most landlords settle for an annual 5% increase in rent year on year.
Get everything in writing – Most landlords make blanket promises when giving out their house, make sure you get these promises/guarantees in writing, taking someone at their word can be good for relationships but remember, you’re looking for a house, not a friend.
Inspect your flat – A lot of issues with your apartment can be hidden from a simple look. Inspect these things properly before deciding on whether or not to take the place.
Pipes – make sure there are no blockages and the pipes work smoothly.
Electrical fittings – See if the lights and fans work properly. It’s common courtesy for your landlord to provide these. Else, make it clear on who pays to fix it.
Faucets and shower heads – Sometimes these basic fittings don’t work and nobody checks it out before renting out a place and moving in. Be sure to check these facilities in your prospective flat.
Cracked windows or broken walls – If you can live with a cracked window or a broken wall, then it’s still fine. But make sure you keep photos of these issues before taking up a place. Those photos will come in handy when you’re vacating, trust us on this.
Rules and regulations – Although your landlord may be okay with these things, sometimes the housing society can have a lot of issues with some of the things you want. For example, you might not be allowed to keep pets in your house or you might not be allowed to throw a party. These are things that you should ideally check beforehand. It’s wiser if you ask the landlord these things than asking the society directly. (In Mumbai a lot of Societies require you to give an interview before being able to take a house on rent, so additional caution is advised there)
Negotiate – A lot depends on who your landlord is and whether or not they’re ready to negotiate on the price. If it’s a person who owns a lot of property and runs this as a business, you’re going to find it harder to negotiate a better deal for yourself. If it’s an individual that is just looking to supplement their household income, play hardball, you’ll come out on top. Most landlords also practice up-selling their houses, so negotiating could make your deal sweeter than you think.
Check if your apartment society is smart enough – Last but not the least, check if your prospective apartment complex is listed on http://www.apnacomplex.com by searching for it. If it is, then you’ll notice how simpler your life becomes once you live there. If not, then there’s always something you can do about it; like referring the software to you society or searching for a different apartment altogether.
Landlords demanding for a 10-months to 1-year security deposit from prospective tenants is quite a common norm in Bengaluru. This practice is often quite shocking for young professionals migrating from other cities to Bangalore since this trend is still not very prevalent in other major Indian cities.
Fresh college graduates who have just joined a job at times have no other option than to borrow money from friends and family. Even though the security deposit is quite exorbitant, most of the tenants have no other option than paying the same.
Rachelle Chandran from Bengaluru has filed an online petition in March protesting against the very high security deposits demanded by the landlords in Bengaluru. She has demanded for implementation of uniform rent law across Bengaluru for security deposits.
It’s a common practice to ask for a high security deposits from tenants and the full amount not being returned by landlords. The owner has the right to deduct security deposits by mentioning random maintenance costs. This is a highly unfair practice and the petition demands an answer to the same.
The petition mentions the Model Tenancy Act 2011, which recommends a set of rules “to balance the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants” with other clauses to protect the tenants’ interest. Another suggestion mentioned in the petition is to reprimand a landlord who charges security deposit 3 times in excess of monthly rent.
The petition also demands for a “fast-track rent tribunal” to solve the issues between landlords and tenants and the ability of tenants to file FIR against landlords in case of any money fraud.
About 3,000 people have already signed the petition and are voicing their anguish while supporting the petition.
Although the petition is a great initiative and if action taken, it will help the tenants and save them from depositing a large sum of money in the name of security deposit, another fact cannot be left unnoticed that the rights of the landlords also need to be protected while making new laws as there are also situations wherein tenants refuse to pay for maintenance charges or repair work that occur due to their negligence! The amends to the law needs to a balanced one, protecting the interest of both the landlord and the tenants.
A comprehensive product guide for processing wet bio-degradable waste in Apartments and Gated Communities – by Wake up, Clean up Bengaluru.
The guide helps apartments and gated communities with options and list of providers to implement the recommendation of in-situ processing of wet waste with in the apartment complex or gated communities. Answers to frequently asked questions on why Apartments should process their own waste are also present.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s new Solid Waste Management policy seems to be more of a knee-jerk reaction than a well thought-out plan, as it passes on the task of waste management to the general public without outlining clear solutions for the existing problem.
Apartment owners, in particular, have been badly affected by this new plan as apartment complexes have been labeled as ‘Bulk Generators’ by the BBMP, along with malls, shopping complexes, public offices, and convention halls.
So what does this mean for apartment owners?
It means that any apartment with more than 10 housing units is solely responsible for handling its own solid waste, and should have composting units to process the waste internally. Apartment owners now have to worry about installing and maintaining waste processing units, mainly due to an inconsiderate plan that has been cooked up overnight!
Why Apartments Can’t Operate Composting Units
The new policy being rolled out by the BBMP is unfair to apartments mainly because apartments now need to be equipped with composting units out of the blue.
This is hard, primarily due to the following factors. 1. Space Constraints
Most apartments in Bangalore have a predefined structure, with the entire area neatly sectioned according to the building plan. The need to accommodate a composting unit has thrown up a key problem in such apartments, which is the lack of space.
Residents in apartments from across the city are also irked as apartment associations weren’t consulted while this plan was being formulated, leading to widespread confusion on how these measures can be implemented.
2. Operational Constraints
Composting units, even if installed, need to be verified and checked to ensure that they adhere to the prevailing standards. Sewage treatment and composting units in Bangalore need to be verified by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the contractors need to be duly approved – but this is a factor that has not been distinctly outlined in the new SWM plan.
The plan doesn’t get into the finer details of which authority residents should consult while installing an STP or composting unit, or whether it is ecologically safe to have such units in a residential area. Apartments with garbage processing plants will generate huge quantities of compost too, and no plan for managing this widespread generation of compost has been specified.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has also not specified any waste management process for residents to follow, with clearly outlined steps like segregation, disposal, or recycling.
3. Financial Constraints
STPs and composting units need to be rigorously maintained, so the added cost of installing and maintaining these units will be passed on to the residents. Residents state that apartments need to spend INR 150000-200000 in order to run these composting units, and this will prove to be particularly expensive for smaller apartments that have fewer houses.
Residents who can’t install a composting unit need to pay the BBMP a standard fee to dispose their solid and wet waste, which is an additional expense that all residents should be willing to bear. Apartment owners view these rules as particularly unfair as independent houses and smaller apartments face none of these costs when it comes to waste management.
The BBMP is solely responsible for waste disposal in Bangalore
This is clearly defined under the rules set by the Ministries Of Urban Development and Environment and Forestry, which state that the BBMP should collect domestic, institutional and trade waste from the source, from every door or through a community bin. The corporation is also authorized to employ NGOs and private companies for help.
By making apartment residents accountable for waste processing, the municipal corporation is not fulfilling its fundamental duty of maintaining the civic assets of greater Bangalore.
In an analysis that deconstructs the SWM problem, Mr. Narayan Aras, one of the central figures representing the plight of apartment owners, states that all that residents need to do (as per the law) is initially segregate their dry and wet waste and keep them ready for the BBMP to collect. It’s not yet clear if the corporation has the authority to pass on its duty to the residents.
Certain residents are also worried that the introduction of private contractors into the picture will lead to the rise of garbage mafias that dictate varying charges for the collection and disposal or garbage. Apartment residents are likely to be at the mercy of these contractors, as failing to comply with the government’s rules can lead to basic amenities like electricity and water supply being cut off.
Mr. Aras has also stated that the term ‘Bulk Waste Generators’ that the BBMP has attributed to apartments is not an official one, as it does not feature in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act (1976) or the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules (2000). This has apartment owners to question the conception and implementation of this new SWM plan.
Bangalore needs carefully planned waste management measures that are sustainable and devised with the city’s future in mind. With migrants pouring in and the population steadily increasing, only efficient long term plans can help in making the city a metropolitan haven.
Going by the current draft of the BBMP proposal, the road ahead seems to be a very long one.
This article is based on the inputs provided by Mr. Nagesh Aras of Sobha Aquamarine, Sarjapura Outer Ring Road, Bangalore who has been leading the STP related regulations for Apartments with KSPCB and now on the SWM rules. This article is to benefit the readers of our blog to get different perspective of problems that Apartment Complexes grapple with every day. The article does not necessarily indicate views of ApnaComplex.
This article is based on interview with Mr. Nagesh Aras of Sobha Aquamarine, Sarjapura Outer Ring Road, Bangalore who has been leading the STP related regulations for Apartments with KSPCB and now on the SWM rules.
When the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) framed a draft of its new Solid Waste Management (SWM) plan in late 2012, there was a collective sigh of relief as the policy was seen as the much awaited first step towards a cleaner Bangalore.
Improper waste disposal has been one of Bangalore’s burning issues
But a deeper look into the tenets of this plan throws up critical questions on the role of apartment complexes in this SWM drive. The new recommendations hold apartments responsible for processing their own solid waste – a move that has evoked strong reactions across the city’s apartment associations.
So where exactly do apartment complexes fit into the current scheme of things? More importantly, how do the new regulations affect apartment owners?
The Events That Led To The New SWM Plan
Improper waste management is a problem that has plagued Bangalore for over two decades, and the issue hit the spotlight again when the BBMP’s act of dumping solid and wet waste (without proper segregation) in the village of Mandur started causing ecological problems in the locality, along with rising health hazards.
The BBMP ceased dumping waste in Mandur amidst growing protests
Close to 500 trucks loaded with 3000 tons of garbage from the city were regularly sent to the Mandur landfill on a daily basis, till rising tensions prompted the Bangalore High Court to intervene and stop the BBMP from using its landfills entirely.
The growing mountains of waste in the landfill and the ensuing diseases prompted the villagers from Mandur to protest against the BBMP in the year 2012, bringing the entire cycle of waste segregation and disposal to a halt, and leading to the accumulation of excess waste along the city’s roads.
The revised waste management plan is part of the BBMP expert committee’s efforts to outline a clear cycle of waste segregation and disposal within the city, with an eye on the growing population and the mounting need for better waste management facilities.
How The SWM Plan Affects Apartments In Bangalore
Although the new SWM plan mainly outlines the need for proper waste segregation at all levels of the disposal cycle, certain key statements in the plan dictate that residential complexes and apartments are solely responsible for processing their own waste.
Under the new guidelines, apartments are internally responsible for processing wet waste
Under the SWM plan, which was announced in September 2012, residential apartments that have more than 10 housing units or above have been classified as ‘Bulk Generators’ of waste, along with hotels, malls, shopping complexes, public offices, and transportation terminals.
Apartments have been classified as ‘Bulk Generators’ by the BBMP
The revised guidelines specify that:
Apartments should internally segregate their dry and wet waste
Composting units should be installed in every apartment to process the wet wasted generated
Apartments that fail to install their own composting units should hand over their wet waste to the BBMP
The BBMP will levee a standard fee for collecting the waste from such apartments
The BBMP regulations clearly state how different types of wastes should be handled by the apartment management.
Dry Waste: This includes waste materials like plastic, paper, metal objects, wood, rags, rubber, and thermocol. Dry waste should be handed over to the nearest collection center.
Wet Waste: Wet waste includes uncooked and cooked food items, and compostable material. This should be processed through composting units or given to the BBMP for a fee.
Sanitary Waste: Sanitary napkins, any material contaminated with blood, and disposable diapers fall under this category. These need to be disposed at biomedical waste collection centers.
Inerts And Rejects: Road sweepings, silt, dust, ashes, broken glass, and construction and demolition wastes are part of this category. Inerts will be collected from apartments on a weekly basis, again for a standard fee.
More than a third of Bangalore’s residents live in apartments; and this unexpected move from the BBMP expert committee has spurred debates on how effective these efforts are. In fact, Mr. Narayan Aras, who is leading the efforts to educate apartment residents about the new SWM plan, has compiled an analysis on why the BBMP’s recent measures are impossible to implement.
The new policy has come under criticism mainly because these long-term regulations have been passed overnight without providing residential complexes the space to learn about and install such composting units within the complex. To add to this, there are no fully functional KSPCB (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board) approved disposal centers across the city, complicating the entire waste disposal process.
Many planned apartment complexes don’t often have the space to accommodate these units, and the BBMP’s lack of operational support in terms of setting up and approving these units is an important factor as well. Installing and maintaining a composting unit is an additional expense that apartment owners will have to bear, and these are just some of the many reasons why apartment residents can’t process their own waste.
In an ominous move, the rules also specify that housing units that don’t adhere to these new regulations will have their electricity and water supply cut off, with a looming threat of nonconforming residents being forcibly vacated or imprisoned too. It remains to be seen if the BBMP will listen to protesting homeowners who are challenging the components of its ill-advised draft.
Image link from http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/01361/13BG_MANDUR__1361985f.jpg
This article is based on interview with Mr. Nagesh Aras of Sobha Aquamarine, Sarjapura Outer Ring Road, Bangalore who has been leading the STP related regulations for Apartments with KSPCB and now on the SWM rules.
ApnaComplex with support from Bannerghatta Neighborhood Association, conducted Waste Management Awareness and Best Practices Sharing Sessions on Saturday, 24th November, 2012.
After a warm welcome from Mr. Sanjeev Bansal of Vithola Apartments, the event kick-started off with a small video on the WHY of Waste Management – the current status of Bangalore’s garbage dumps, BBMP’s diktats and securing the future for our children.
The Waste Management expert speaker sessions started with Waste Management for Dummies by Mr. Vijay Krishnan of RagPicker who gave a simplified, practical, down-to-earth explanation of WHATs of waste management. What were the different categories of waste, What are the composting options? What garbage goes into what bucket/bin/bag for disposal? What’s done with the garbage after it leaves our homes?
Wilma Rodrigues, the guru of Waste Management from way back in 2001, from Saahas group next presented some practical HOWs of Waste Management. She explained about various tailored and customized options for apartments and gated communities in terms of services offered by Saahas. She explained how we can contribute back to not just environment by significantly reducing the output generated to landfills, but also giving back to the society in terms of employment for people manning the composting and segregation units right in the apartment/complex premises. The women and men employed with Saahas are given training, proper protection equipment and ergonomic tools and techniques to go about their mundane work. The services while being a big boon for societies who are always pressed for time and resources – is also very economical with charges only for covering the basic expenses.
Up next was Ms Poonam of Daily Dump, another veteran in this area. Daily Dump, popular for providing eye-catching, colourful and beautiful composting units – be it for individual homes, society or office, was ubiquitously mentioned by almost everyone in the following Best Practices sessions. She gave some sharp, hard-hitting and thought provoking perspectives straight from the field – how to think of the bigger picture beyond just my home, my apartment, my backyard. For example how there was no CFL recycling plant in Bangalore and it needs to be transported several miles outside the city just for that.
The Best Practices sessions generated the maximum question/answers from the audience with practical issues & tips shared by passionate committee members – Savitha from Sobha Azalea and Althea, Babita Saxena and Radhika from Ferns Paradise, Asia from Purva Panorama, and Anoop of Sobha Aster.
Practical questions on how to change the mind set of maids, cooks and housekeeping (use incentives scheme, talk to them in the language they understand, use visuals instead of charts), how to practically collect wet garbage ( keep it newspaper lined buckets/bins outside your door and have the housekeeping staff empty it into larger trolley-bins), contacts of alternate conscientious waste collectors who actually don’t mix up after you have taken all the pains to segregate, how to mobilize the residents from indifference to active participants (go door to door, involve children, have fests, make garbage interesting!). This was the section that generated the maximum laughter and interaction too! What struck the audience was the professional presentation by these green champions. “Phased-implementation”, “Early Adopters”, “100% compliance”, “Soft Launch”, “Post Pilot” were some of the terms used by the presenters – which showed the corporate style commitment and execution towards making Bangalore a better place to live.
The event ended with an inspiring note from Ms. Lavanya of Youth For Seva. The finale session was most appropriate as she urged people to not just recycle – but also reduce. Take a moment before buying – do you really need it, can you get by with something more simpler option that we actually knew and used 10 years ago (do we really need that e-waste generating sensor activated liquid soap dropper?!, Do we really need black plastic refuse bags?). Once you buy it – take another moment before throwing it away – has it been used to fullest extent? Can you not repair instead of replace? Don’t fall for the consumerist marketing is the message she asked people to think about. YFS also has other areas of service such as health, education where volunteers can register and give back to society at large.
“The sessions were very very useful. I have had lot of takeaways. Although we were practicing Waste Management to some extent in our apartment, I have got lots of new ideas now and I am going to spread the word to not just my apartment but my entire neighbourhood” – words from the happy and satisfied member from the audience – Ms. Meeakshi of Ittina Abby sums it all.
The sessions were attended by more than 60 participants from various housing societies. All presentations are available on ApnaComplex Slideshare.
Update: Some of hyperlinks given above were broken earlier. The broken links have been corrected to point to correct urls
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