Mission Garima

‘Mission Garima’ is a joint initiative by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and the Trusts, aimed at eliminating unsafe, undignified practices for sanitation workers in Mumbai. The Mission started with a photo book by renowned photographer Sudharak Olwe, ‘In Search of Dignity and Justice’, which captures (through stark, black-and-white images) the abominable work and living conditions of those who clean our cities. The printing of the book was supported by the Trusts. The Mission asserts that it is not possible to have clean cities without restoring dignity to the work conditions of its cleaners. Data from the last five years indicates that an average of nearly 20 people die every month cleaning Mumbai.

Source(s) of the problem

  • The MCGM uses machines and equipment for cleaning main sewer lines and manholes. However, a large section of cleaning points and alleys are inaccessible by machinery because of narrow entry points.
  • Unplanned expansion of informal (slum) settlements.
  • Widespread apathy of residents and users about waste management.
  • Health issues like shortness of breath, itchiness, burning sensation in the eyes, rashes all over the body etc.


Tata Trusts intervention

1.Technology solutions:

  • PPE — Personal protective equipment is necessary for the workers because they are exposed to unhygienic working conditions in SWM, SWD and SO. The Trusts will partner with Tata Strategic Management Group for the creation of a solution document which will enable the MCGM to take an informed decision on PPE. This document will cover the key problem, identified solution, advantages of the solution and will use case or areas where it has been implemented, user feedback, name of the vendor, contact of the vendor, price, etc.
  • MAE — Machines and allied equipment are tools which will help in reduction of manual intervention drastically and will make blockage cleaning easy.
  • Model chowki — It should be an ideal workplace which needs to be redesigned, relocated and restructured, since the day of a sanitation worker starts and ends at the chowki. It should have all facilities such as sitting area, tool storage area, proper ventilation, cupboards for storage of administrative stuff, toilet, purified drinking water, bathing room, changing room for male and female workers, lockers, rest room, etc, which do not exist at present in many chowkis.

2.Outreach and awareness:

  • Community awareness programme — This programme is aimed at sensitising the citizens of Mumbai vis-à-vis the working conditions of sanitation workers and creating general awareness about waste management and disposal practices. By sensitising the citizens and other stakeholders like hawkers, vendors, area locality managements, corporates, educational institutes, etc. the Trusts aim to reduce the burden.
  • Launch of the campaign has been done in L and D wards.

1.Identifying and supporting the areas of intervention with MCGM under public policy, such as segregation of waste, prevention of littering, etc.
Family and welfare:

  • Health check-up camps — The Trusts will partner with Swasth Foundation for conducting health check-up of approximately 5,000 workers in both L and D wards. This will cover both primary and secondary check-ups, unlimited consultation with the physician and dental care with 40-50% subsidised medicines. The treatment will cover ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, thyroid and day-today elements like fever, cough and cold, etc. Community outreach programme of the clinic shall also cover families of the workers. Major illnesses like tuberculosis and cancer are covered by the MCGM programmes. However, preliminary screening of both the diseases can be done at the Swasth Clinic.


  • Launch of the behaviour change campaign — The Trusts will partner with an entity with expertise in behaviour change campaigns by way of a 360-degree outreach programme.

Achievements and plans  

    • Understanding existing systems.
    • Demonstrated different technology options like PPE and MAE for SO, SWD and SWM.
    • Conducted health camps for MCGM workers across D and L wards, where 2,710 workers were screened. The preliminary and secondary screening tests covered 999 workers and follow-up treatment was also given. This resulted in out-of-pocket savings of Rs.598,018 for the workers (implemented in partnership with Swasth Foundation).
    • Model chowki plans were finalised after in-depth study with the workers, supervisors and officials of the various departments, which led to the draft of three types of model chowkis, which are currently being conceptualised by a consulting firm. (Construction of the same will commence after the monsoon.)
    • Yukti Initiative helped bring out best innovative technological solutions through competitions among the MCGM workers. These solutions will now be reviewed by an independent consultancy organisation, which will also provide valuable feedback on the implementation plan.


Tata Trusts
Bombay House
Homi Mody Street
Mumbai – 400 001

Tel: +91 - 22 - 6665 8282

Fax: +91 - 22 - 6665 8013

Areas of operation