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World Bank Winner
World Bank Winner

For grass roots initiatives for
Management and protection of Natural Resources
From an initial 2,500 applicants throughout all of India, Clean Himalaya was selected into a shortlist of 50 for the final on 28th May 2007 in New Delhi. After rigorous questioning and assessment by a series of judges and panels, the 20 best social innovators and entrepreneurial projects for the protection of India’s Natural Resources were chosen. Clean Himalaya won this accolade, and with it awarded $20,000 towards funding the projects continued expansion.

Receiving this award is a testament to the passion and tireless work that Jitendra Kumar, Swami Susan, Babita Kumar, Venkatesh Dutta, Gabriel, Alan, Scott, and all the workers have put into taking on this ambitious and wide ranging project.

To remove and recycle the enormous ammount of plastic and garbage that have been dumped along the banks of the Ganges and in the surrounding countryside near the town of Rishikesh and return this holy pilgrimage place back to it’s pristine natural beauty.

Original proposal to the World Bank

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  Cleaning Himalayan Foothills through Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal and Entrepreneurship

1. Name of organization: CLEAN HIMALAYA

2. Person responsible for project: Mr. Jitendra Kumar

3. Title of contact person: Project Manager

4. Phone number: 0135-2435303 Mobile: 9319248598

5. Fax number:

6. E-mail address: jitendrakumarmehata@yahoo.com

7. Street address: CLEAN HIMALAYA, C/o EnlightenNext, Box 20, Sivanandanagar 249192

8. City/ Town/ Village: Rishikesh, Tehri-Garhwal

9. Type of organization: Individual

10. Describe your organization and include Date Established/ if individual, specify your special field of work. Please provide additional information as applicable to your project area: a) submit a letter recommending the work done by your organization from the District Magistrate or local government authority or the Head of your University according to the region you are working in. Send this letter by post at the earliest. In not more than 50 words.

CLEAN HIMALAYA, a self-sustaining private initiative, managed by Jitendra Kumar, started informally in 2000 with two rag pickers collecting plastics from local Guest Houses. Now, a small Enterprise with six employees, it collects solid wastes from homes, ashrams, shops, hotels and segregates them for recycling and environmentally-sound disposal.


11. Title of your project idea(in not more than 10 words): Cleaning Himalayan Foothills through Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal and Entrepreneurship

12. Implementation Region: Please specify the name of the village/s, district and state you wish to pilot your project. Clearly mention the number of beneficiaries that will benefit from this initiative. Not more than 30 words.

Muni-ki-reti, Tapovan, Lakshmanjula (3.5 km from Rishikesh), Dist. Tehri Garhwal (Uttarakhand), number of beneficiaries in the project area is approximately 3 lakhs, excluding the large floating tourist population.

13. Theme: Improvement in quality of air, drinking water, sanitation using better technologies and management

14. Is your organization partnering with another organization? Yes

15. If you answered yes to the question above, list the name and contact details of the partner/ partners’ organization and the funds they are contributing? If your proposal is chosen for the grant award you will need to submit a letter by the partner on their letterhead confirming the contribution amount and timeline of this contribution (it has to be within the two year period). Not more than 50 words.

Venkatesh Dutta, Lecturer, School for Environmental Sciences, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, (dvenks@gmail.com) – contributing towards technical expertise required to set up vermi-compost unit and incinerator, (Amount Equivalent: Rs 125,000) Swami Amritarupananda, Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, (amritarupananda78@yahoo.com) – active contribution to awareness campaigning, increasing customer base and financial/administrative guidance
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16. Objective: What is/are the specific problem (s) that you are trying to address? How does it better protect and manage the natural resources (please give numbers of people currently affected by the problem in the project area)? Not more than 200 words.

The cleanliness and sanctity of the Ganges and Himalayas near Rishikesh are marred by intense development, use of plastic bags and non-degradable packing materials, lack of organized municipal pick-up of garbage and absence of municipal dumping grounds. Therefore, garbage litters the roadsides, drains, ravines, Ganges banks, irrigation channels and hillsides creating a serious sanitation and health hazard. The end-point for much of this garbage is the Ganges. Toxins from such waste may enter the ground water near the Ganges and thus enter the many wells dug along the Ganges banks. The wastes thrown into irrigation channels not only can pollute the irrigation water, but often end up littering and polluting the farmland. Lack of waste management increases the risk for disease by enabling disease- carrying rodents and insects to thrive. Cows ingest the polythene bags containing food and sometimes die. Burning recyclable and non-recyclable garbage causes air pollution.

Clean Himalaya aims to deal with all solid waste through recycling, vermin-composting, eco-friendly burning and thus:
• helps protect the sanctity and cleanliness of the Ganga and Himalaya near Rishikesh
• avoids unnecessary pollution of air, farmland, drinking water
• protects roaming animals
People affected is about 3 lakhs plus large tourist population

17. Idea: How does your idea help in addressing the problem (s) described above? Not more than 200 words.

This idea helps to address the problems in 5 ways:
1. Comprehensive waste management, through entrepreneurship, can deal with all wastes in an environmentally-sound way through door-to-door waste collection, waste segregation, recycling, safe treatment of non-recyclables, and vermin- composting organic wastes.

2. Special daily cleaning projects of ravines, roadsides etc. littered with garbage will help clean areas not dealt with by the municipality (in progress)

3. Cooperation with the municipalities to coordinate with municipal and private sweepers will encourage them to no longer dump garbage into ravines and over hillsides.

4. Placement of garbage bins throughout the community (with daily pick-up by Clean Himalaya) will help make waste disposal easier for municipal sweepers and the tourist population.

5. Outdoor posters, handouts, visiting schools will aid public education as the concept of waste management is very new to the population

Presently daily dry waste collection of 25 % of Laksmanjula/Tapovan is in progress with sorting and storage of waste done on rented land. Recyclables are sold and non-recyclables burnt. Clean Himalaya has applied to the SDM for Government land to be used for vermi-composting, constructing an incinerator and a structure for sorting and storage of waste. It is hoped it will be sanctioned in the near future. (about 196 words)
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18. Implementation: How will you implement your idea? Describe in details the activities/ process your project will undertake to realize its objective(s). List step-by-step how you will implement the programme in Phase I (first tranche of the award money) and Phase II (the final installment of the award money). Not more than 200 words.

Phase I:
1. Expand service beyond 25% already served in Laxmanjula/Tapovan to include both dry and organic waste through further canvassing for new registrants till area is fully covered;

2. Expand cleaning projects to help clean roadsides, drains, hillsides, ravines, Ganges banks through employing more workers.

3. Co-ordinate with the municipal authorities, municipal and private sweepers to build cooperation and trust and encourage them to avoid dumping into ravines, hillsides, etc. through placement of garbage bins—especially near popular dumping areas Award money to be used to:

• purchase 4-wheeler mini-carrier truck to transport waste in very hilly area;

• construct closed Shade to sort and store recyclables and to protect recyclables from rain and being scattered by wind and roaming animals

• purchase garbage bins

Phase II
1. Commissioning of vermin-composting unit to compost food wastes*
2. Commissioning of closed incinerator with filters – to burn non-recyclables, including medical waste. *
3. Provide public education through explaining project to registrants, placement of posters in public places, visiting schools to educate children and involve them in cleaning projects where prizes could be given, giving tours of Shivananda Ashram, The Divine Life Society where waste management is successful.
*to be financed by award money.

19. Innovation: How is your idea truly innovative or unique? Describe the extent to which it uses a novel

This project is unique because no one else is employing a comprehensive program to deal with all waste in an eco- friendly way. To solve a severe municipal and environmental problem, Clean Himalaya is aiming to develop a comprehensive entrepreneurial waste management program not dependent upon state support. Rag pickers, private and municipal sweepers now do some door-to-door garbage collection, but after collecting the profitable recyclable waste, they will dump whatever recyclables (polythene bags etc.) which are not profitable and non-degradable waste into ravines and hillsides etc.; whereas Clean Himalaya aims to collect all dry and food wastes and manage them in a responsible way generating regular income for at least 10 poor families. Though municipal street sweepers are employed to clean the streets and drains in many areas, they are not sufficiently supervised, and in some newly developed areas, no municipal sweepers are employed. Thus the roadsides and drains are full of garbage. Clean Himalaya is now employing its workers part time most days cleaning specific roadsides and areas that are poorly attended to by the municipality. Clean Himalaya has also introduced a scheme where well-wishers can “adopt” a section of roadside or garbage dump and finance its regular cleaning. (200 words)
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20. Outcomes / Results: What are the expected outcomes/results of your project? Whom will it benefit? How will you measure/ ascertain the impact of these outcomes/results? Not more than 200 words

Proper waste management proposed and begun by Clean Himalaya will help to restore the sanctity and beauty of the Tapovan/Lakshmanjula/Muni-ki-reti area located in the heart of the holy region of the Ganga and Himalayan foothills. It will result in a cleaner and safer environment. It will demonstrate a new solution to waste management through shifting the sole responsibility from local governments to private entrepreneurs who are accountable as their survival depends upon measurable results. The project will be of immense benefit to the residents, visitors and roaming animals. It will help to reduce pollution and disease and increase livability of this rapidly growing area. It will provide regular employment for an increasing number of otherwise underemployed individuals. After significant benefits and visible results in the cleanliness are evident, the participation and cooperation of the local community--residents, shops, hotels, ashrams, municipal authorities--in the implementation of the project will grow which will have a synergistic and real transformative effect on the community and environmental consciousness of the population. The outcome will be measured by the increasing numbers of shops, homes, hotels, ashrams registered, increased community participation and sponsorship by well-wishers, and by making a visible difference to the cleanliness of the area. (200 words)

21. Financial Viability: If relevant provide an estimate of when you expect to cover your operational costs through revenues beyond the phase funded by the Development Marketplace? Not more than 200 words.

Although Clean Himalaya is dedicated to maintaining the sanctity and cleanliness of the Tapova/Lakshmanjula/Muni-ki- reti area and making a significant environmental difference, its first need was to become financially viable. Prior to September 2006, it lost money due to the unreliability of workers; the deficit was covered by casual donations. However, once reliable workers were found, the manager could expand coverage and solicit more business. Presently, the Muni-ki- reti Nagar Panchayat finances two workers. Clean Himalaya also introduced a scheme in which well-wishers can “adopt” a full or part-time worker; two workers are financed this way. User fees and sale of recyclable garbage now cover the salaries of the manager, two workers, scooter depreciation and operating costs—petrol, garbage bags, repairs, phone, etc. Stabilizing this financial success, through fees and donations, will largely depend upon Clean Himalaya's ability to demonstrate that they are making a significant environmental difference.

Funding from IDM will greatly help this; funding is mostly needed to create the necessary infrastructure (carrier truck, vermi-composting unit, incinerator, Shade for sorting and storing waste). After scaling up, additional income from finished compost, user fees, recyclables, etc. should be sufficient to cover extra operational expenses beyond IDM funding.

22. Sustainability: Describe how you will overcome major challenges that your project/ organization faces and how you will overcome. Describe the extent to which your project addresses environment problems or generates environmental benefits. Not more than 200 words.

Civic and environmental awareness is only beginning to emerge among the population. The greatest obstacle is lack of interest. Furthermore, many people are cynical, and some private/municipal sweepers fear their jobs are threatened. Overcoming these obstacles requires ongoing commitment to:

(1) constant canvassing for new business to increase awareness and the area serviced;

(2) active public service to clean areas unattended by the municipality, so local people see a visible difference;

(3) public education to increase civic/environmental awareness;

(4) friendly contact with the municipal/private sweepers to build their trust, so they can be assured that their work isn’t threatened and that everyone benefits.

The project covers 25% of the area, so there is significant potential to expand the service and environmental benefits, although greater coverage may not necessarily be as profitable, as much of the area includes homes of poor families. However, not yet tapped are the 35 rafting camps a few kilometers north of Laksmanjula. They are interested in Clean Himalaya’s work as the cleanliness of this region is important to them; they could be a very good source of income, with environmental benefits, if Clean Himalaya is able to use a carrier truck to regularly pick up their garbage.
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23. Replicable and Scaling-Up: What is the possibility of implementing your idea/ project elsewhere (in different regions)? What is the potential for this idea to be scaled-up or applied on a large scale? Not more than 200 words.

Clean Himalaya is a small scale innovative project that aims to help maintain the sanctity and cleanliness of the Ganga and Himalayan foothills and protect natural resources through comprehensive waste management. The concept is easy to understand and simple to implement, and thus easily replicable in other regions—even on a large scale. [An article written about Clean Himalaya by Venkatesh Dutta was published in the March issue of “Catalyst for Human Development.” There was even a response from the president of the Team for Nature and Wildlife in Nepal for further information on how this could be applied to his country.] There are no shortages of workers. However, to overcome the lack of interest and cynicism among the population at large and the resistance and fear among private and municipal sweepers, replicability and scaling up requires total commitment from managers and supervisors and a passion to make the project work. This means a commitment to continuously working with and co-operating with all sectors of the community that are affected by the project. The project targets beneficiary group and geographic area not covered before and attempts innovative financing method and support process which could be tried elsewhere.


24. Please provide an estimate of the budget for project activities. If your budget exceeds approximately Rs. 8 lakhs, please specify other sources of funding and identify activities that will be undertaken with the IDM money and those activities that will be undertaken with the additional sources. Please note that wherein necessary, the administration costs must not exceed 15 per cent of the total award grant. Not more than 200 words

Project Costs


  Unit costs No. of Total Cost No. of Total No. of Total
  in INR Units (A*B) Units Costs Units Costs
1 Personnel              
5 sanitary stafff @ Rs 3000 pm 36,000 5 180,000 6 2,16,000 8 2,88,000
1 Project Manager @ Rs 8000 pm 96,000 1 96,000 1 96,000 1 96,000
2 Part Time Sanitsary Staff @ Rs 1500 pm 18,000 2 36,000 2 36,000 2 36,000
1 Diver for mini carrier truck @ Rs 3000 pm 36,000 1 36,000 1 36,000 1 36,000
Sub-total Personnel     4,87,500   3,84,000   4,56,000
2 Materials and Equipment              
4 Wheeler Mini Carrier Truck 300,000 1 3,00,000 0 0   0
Bins for Recyclables and Non-recyclables 2,500 15 37,500 15 37,500 0 0
Incinerators for Non-recyclables 109,000 0 1,09,000 0 1 0 0
Construction of Vermi-pit bed 30,000 0   3 90,000 0 0
Construction of Shelter for Sorting and Storage 150,000 1 1,50,000 0 0   0
3 Training              
Training on Incineration of non-recyclables 5,000 0 5,000 0 1 5,000 0
Training on Vermico mposting of Organic Wastes 3,000 0 3,000 0 2 6,000 0
Training for Local Wo men in Waste Segrgation 0 12 0 12 0 12 0
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Project Costs


  Unit costs No. of Total Cost No. of Total No. of Total
  in INR Units (A*B) Units Costs Units Costs
Sub-total Training     0   11,000   0
4 Travel              
Travel assistance to Project Adviser 2000 6 2000 3 6000 2 4000
Sub-total Travel     12,000   6000   4000
5 Other              
Lease of land @ Rs 5000 pm 5000 12 60,000 12 60000 12 60,000
Fuel Cost for Scooter and Mini Truck @ Rs1200 pm 1200 12 14,400 15 18000 20 24,000
Sub-total Other     74,400 0 78,000   84,000
6 Monitoring/Evaluation/Information Dissemination              
Outdoor Posters 500 10 5000 10 5000 10 5000
Pamphlets for Schools/Ashrams etc 1600 1 1600 2 3200 2 3200
Educational Posters 2500 1 2500 1 2500 1 2500
Sub-total Evaluation/Info Dissemination     9100   10,700   10,700
7 General Administration/Overhead              
Office Statio nary Items 250 12 3000 12 3000 12 3000
Electricity Bills 400 12 4800 12 4800 12 4800
Telephone Bills 600 12 1200 12 7200 12 7200
Sub-total General Admin/Overhead     15,000   15000   15,000
8 Total Project Expenses     9,46,000   7,41,200   5,69,700

Out of total expenditure of Rs 168,7200, Rs. 819,200 would be generated from revenue as well as other sources such as donations, voluntary contribution, etc. during he first two years. Therefore the balance amount of Rs. 819,200 is requested from IDM funding.
Other sources of funding
Year 1
Year 2
1. Committed donations 125,000 125,000
2. Anticipated donations 125,000 125,000
3. Sales of goods and services 192,000 318,000
4. Contribution from the municipality 5,400 5,400
Total Project Funding
Rs. 496,000 Rs. 622,000
Label 7
Activities that will be undertaken with the IDM money
1. Capital costs for buying materials and equipments
Year 1
Year 2
4 Wheeler Mini Carrier Truck 300,000 0
b. Bins for Recyclables and Non-recyclables 37,500 37,500
c. Incinerators for Non-recyclables   109,00
d. Construction of Vermi-pit bed 0 90,000
e. Construction of Shelter for Sorting and Storage 15,000 0
2. Contribution towards Personnel Cost    
a. Salary for 1 Diver for mini carrier truck @ Rs 3000 pm 36000 36000
523,500 272,500
1. Activities that will be undertaken with the additional sources
Year 1 Year 2
a. 5 sanitary stafff @ Rs 3000 pm 180,000 216,000
b. 1 Project Manager @ Rs 8000 pm 96,000 96,000
c. Part Time Sanitsary Staff @ Rs 1500 pm 36,000 36,000
2. Materials and Equipment
Nil Nil
3 Training    
a. Training on Vermicomposting of Organic Wastes 0 5000
b. Training on Incineration of non-recyclables 0 6000
c. Training for Local Women in Waste Segrgation 0 0
4. Travel    
a. Travel assistance to Project Adviser 12000 6000
5. Other Expenses    
a. Lease of land @ Rs 5000 pm 60000 60000
b. Fuel Cost for Scooter and Mini Truck @ Rs 1200 pm 14400 18000
6. Monitoring/Evaluation/Information Dissemination
a. Outdoor Posters 5000 5000
b. Pamp hlets for Schools/Ashrams etc 1600 3200
c. Educational Posters 2500 2500
7. General Administration/Overhead    
a. Office Stationary Items 3000 3000
b. Electricity Bills 4,800 4,800
World Bank Award Photos (New Dehli - 28 March 2007)
World Bank Winner
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