Improving Women’s Access to Social Programs and Entitlements


The 3D Program is working with Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) and SWaCH to improve access to good quality social programs and entitlements across sectors for waste pickers and their families by:

  • Leveraging a collaboration between PMC and SWaCH to strengthen access to and quality of services across sectors.
  • Advocating for the rights of waste pickers and other low-income groups in the development of national policies and new national, state and municipal schemes and improving existing schemes.
  • Training waste pickers and community mobilizers to increase knowledge of and access to schemes and benefits.
  • Identifying and filling gaps in services by engaging civil society and the private sector.
  • Implementing a practical decentralized hub-and-spoke service model to facilitate the enrolment of waste pickers, their family members and other informal workers in schemes, entitlements and programs that enhance their social inclusion.

The hub-and-spoke service model includes a central Kashtakari Helpdesk and up to ten community based Kashtakari Seva Kendras (KSKs) in Pune City that facilitate problem solving and inclusion and engage waste pickers in advocating for their own entitlements and services. The KSKs are staffed by Enumerators and Sunbais, the educated daughters or daughters-in-law of waste pickers and locally governed by groups of their representatives. They seek to ensure last-mile delivery of services and government schemes to underserved informal waste pickers, particularly women, who are difficult to reach, on account of their multiple vulnerabilities and responsibilities, the nature of their work and working hours.

COVID UPDATE: The Kashtakari model was put in place in Pune City about a year before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.  At the beginning of the pandemic, waste pickers were deemed essential workers in Pune and with the support of KKPKPK and SWaCH have courageously provided vital waste management services at significant risk to themselves and their families. Many programs and services they rely on have been disrupted and long-standing disparities and barriers to access have been exacerbated. The model was designed to address those disparities and barriers well before the COVID-19 pandemic. With some adjustments, it is now proving to be effective in facilitating vital flows of information and lifesaving supplies during the crisis. By demonstrating its effectiveness during the COVID-19 crisis, the model has gained support among KKPKP members, and partnerships with local government and other organizations have been accelerated. The need for convergence in a decentralized way has been validated, and those who staff the centers have been empowered as community mobilizers.

Read more in our report Pathways to Inclusion: Social Protection and Public Services for Informal Workers in Pune, India and case study Services Within Reach: Breaking Down Barriers for Informal Workers