By SRIKRISHNA BALACHANDRAN

On a typical weekday, Veena manages delivery of critical software that run millions of transactions for one of the largest FMCG companies in the world. Her typical workday involves interacting with clients from around the world and participating in key board meetings to develop the next generation of technological solutions.

Every Sunday morning, she steps out of her house at 6am to take charge of the week’s waste inflow at the local Dry Waste Collection Center. She is also involved in planning dry waste collection drives in her neighborhood. She wears many hats in her weekend avatar as she lobbies with BBMP, presents initiatives to residents’ welfare assocations, and watches out for new technologies that can be implemented for better waste management.

Veena’s efforts have got more than 4500 houses in her neighborhood to segregate waste every day. The impact is huge: the waste-to-landfill has reduced by ten tons every month. The dry waste generated is recycled, thereby creating jobs and benefitting waste-picker livelihoods along the way.  This initiative in the RR Nagar locality, has been carried out under the guidance of Ramakanth of SWMRT and ITC. He has mentored Veena and her team of volunteers consisting of neighbors, Mindtree Green Community folks, members of RRNagar ICare, and JSSATE students.

Her role in taking forward this initiative in her neighborhood has been commendable. She is ably supported by her father, who was pulled into this initiative by her enthusiasm. He has now found solace in this world of trash. She believes that she is claiming back what is rightfully hers – a clean neighborhood, and she is not waiting on anyone to make it happen. Along the way, she has built an amazing collaborative ecosystem. Her dream is to make RR Nagar a Zero Waste ward where every single type of waste is responsibly managed within the ward and nothing goes out whatsoever!

Check out photographs from Veena’s time on the field in RR Nagar here.