This Christmas, 17-year-old Sanjana Runwal is Santa Claus for Garbage Workers


Mumbai: Continuing its drive towards improving the health, hygiene and well-being of rag-pickers and solid waste workers of Mumbai, Clean-Up Foundation conducted a free vaccination camp in association with MCGM at Dharavi. Over 2000 solid waste workers and rag-pickers are being vaccinated at this camp. With the Christmas spirit around, Sanjana and her team of Clean Up Foundation spread much cheer by distributing free ration packets as well to all those getting vaccinated at the camp. This was also done to ensure maximum participation by the garbage workers.

With COVID cases on the rise again and the surge in Omicron numbers, vaccination has become extremely crucial. This camp assumed tremendous importance as awareness and availability of vaccination is low in this section of the society and vulnerability is high. Senior BMC officials with their team of doctors and health workers were present at the occasion. Their support was crucial in making this camp a success.

Commenting on her latest initiative, Sanjana Runwal, Founder of Clean-Up Foundation said, “It is our endeavour to provide the garbage workers and rag pickers with the kind of support that is not easily available to them. That’s why we are conducting this free vaccination campaign in association with MCGM. With the pandemic backdrop, vaccination was something highly needed for them. Based on our extensive primary research on the rag pickers, we found that even after being in the second year of the pandemic, there is a lot of misinformation, doubt and concern about vaccines and their impact on one’s health. This event was planned with the clear objective of providing valuable insights as well as vaccination to safeguard the health of solid waste workers and garbage cleaners.”

Sanjana spearheads activities of Clean Up Foundation, an NGO that drives initiatives directed at enhancing the lives of solid waste workers and rag-pickers of the city. Clean Up Foundation’s activities include providing clean drinking water facilities, safety gear, healthy meals, education finance for children of garbage workers, providing medical insurance, free Covid-19 vaccination and other similar activities. Sanjana was recently felicitated with a Certificate of Appreciation by Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Minister of Housing for Maharashtra and Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Honourable Governor of Maharashtra, for her exemplary social work and her research paper on ‘Affordable Housing Solutions for Garbage Workers’ of the city. The organization’s activities are targeted at improving and enhancing the hygiene, safety and sanitation factors around those who help the city clean but themselves live in appalling conditions. Clean Up Foundation firmly believes that it is imperative to help these unsung heroes of our society and shall continue its efforts in this direction.