Mumbai: Sanjana Runwal, a 17-year-old student from Mumbai, and the Founder of the NGO – Clean-Up Foundation, was honoured with a Letter of Appreciation by Dr Jitendra Awhad, Minister of Housing, Government of Maharashtra, for her exemplary work: a research paper on ‘Affordable Housing Solutions for Garbage Workers’ of the city. Her research report was submitted to the Hon’ble Minister so that the solutions suggested in the research can be considered while framing housing policies by the state for the welfare of this particular segment of the society. Dr Awhad congratulated Sanjana on her commendable work and wished her success in her future endeavours to bring a positive change in society.
Sanjana was extremely passionate about this research and her desire to help the garbage workers was evident throughout this project. The fact that she could actually carry out primary research at the field level is worthy of appreciation. Her dedication towards the cause was visible throughout the project. While overcoming hurdles like the lack of availability of secondary research on this segment (garbage workers and ragpickers), Sanjana demonstrated the ability to find creative solutions. The recommendations suggested by her will surely bring about a positive change for the garbage workers in the city.
Commenting on the prestigious moment, Sanjana Runwal said, ‘’It is an honour to have received this prestigious ‘Letter of Appreciation’ for my research from the Honourable Minister for Housing. Our aim is to improve the living conditions of the garbage cleaners and rag pickers and housing for them is a problem that needs urgent attention. The objective behind the research is to provide recommendations for affordable housing that shall address their problem of housing ownership. With the support from the Government, I am sure that we will be able to provide a solution in near future.’’
Sanjana has done a significant amount of social welfare work at a very young age for the garbage workers and ragpickers of the city through the Clean-Up Foundation, her NGO that started in 2016. She has taken things forward through multiple initiatives directed at improving the lives of rag pickers in the city. They work in sub-human conditions with very little access to any health and hygiene facilities. Recommendations made by Sanjana in her research paper, if implemented by the State, will go a long way in uplifting this section of our society.