Almost 30% of workers in India are casual workers and only 10% of the workforce is in regular employment. GPM employs dozens of women in our income generating projects, providing regular employment and stable incomes to families in the slums and villages through sustainable enterprises.
In Kalwa most women cannot commute into the city or work for a full day as they are expected to stay close to their families and have other commitments at home. As a result, employment opportunities for them are extremely limited. Thus, women have very little control over their own income and being reliant on their husbands or other male family members for household income, grants them less power within the home.
Naya was developed through accessing an established network of local NGOs who have in-depth knowledge and long-standing experience in the field. It is supervised and supported by The Gabriel Project Mumbai. Working together we were able to address some of the issues faced by families living in Kalwa; the waste and lack of recycling opportunities, as well as the extremely limited employment opportunities for women and the impact of this on their families.
The women employed in the initiative are trained in recycling waste paper, creating beautiful new pieces using imagination and skill. Sales of these products support the initiative, as well as develop facilities and awareness around waste and recycling within the slum.
The Naya Paper Recycling project is a self-sustaining women-led project in the slum that incorporates environmental education with economic empowerment. Paper recycling bins have been installed in several GPM locations around the slum, and have become an integral part of the GPM development work. It is in many ways a model social enterprise in that it combines environmental awareness, women's empowerment, and a long-term plan for self-sustainability.