New Delhi: Meet Jabir Karat, a 27-year-old Delhi University post graduate student, who had two choices, one to get himself a lucrative job and build his successful career, while, second to do something more actionable that will help the country. Jabir chose the second option and started on the journey to create Kerala, his home-town waste free. Today, he is the owner of Green Worms, a company that is known for providing waste management services and advice on making surroundings waste free. Jabir is currently handling around 320 metric tonnes of waste in five districts of Northern Kerala per month and owns two plastic reprocessing facilities and eleven waste segregation facilities through which he is making sure that no waste goes untreated in Kerala. His ultimate aim is to have one waste segregation unit in each district and city of Kerala and treat 100 per cent waste of the state.
I knew our country is overburdened with waste and was aware that the problem of garbage will only aggravate in the coming years. However, I started feeling more strongly for the cause after I finished my Gandhi Fellowship programme. During the course, I used to go to various slums of India, I got my reality check there and was exposed to all kinds of problems our country is facing. That was the point, when I decided to do something meaningful in my life, said Jabir who hails from Puthuppadi in Kerala, nearly 45 km away from Kozhikode city.
Jabir decided to focus on one of the biggest problems that the country is facing and figured the answer was waste management. In 2014, Jabir, launched Green Worms.
I was motivated to start a waste management firm because in our country, this is not treated as a white collar job or a lucrative career option that fetches many eye-balls. I wanted to get my hands dirty for a good cause, added Jabir.
The Working Model Of Green Worms
Explaining the working of the company, Jabir added,
We take an apartment, office or a block and make a chain of proper waste management system. First, we guide them to segregate their waste at source and then install a mechanism to treat that segregated waste. We provide the customers 6 bins and guide them to segregate their non-biodegradable waste in 5 bins and use the sixth one for biodegradable waste. Our team goes to the respective block once a week to collect the waste, since we collect weekly, we also guide people how to take care of the waste so as no bad odour comes out from the discarded waste. Once the collection is done, it goes to our waste segregation unit of that block, where our skilled labours segregate the waste further for recycling purposes. We send the plastic waste to our own units and the other facilities like glass, e-waste, to name a few we outsource it to different companies, who then can take care of that waste.
Jabir’s company also installs composting units in each of the area or block they undertake, where the residents are guided to treat their biodegradable waste through the process of composting. The charge of maintenance of composting units is taken by Jabir’s company.
Basically, Green Worms act as a helping hand – we just follow simple waste management rules and try and manage garbage effectively, added Jabir.
However, the waste management journey for Jabir wasn’t easy, he adds,
Initially when I started with this idea, I had to shut my company within the 6 months. But, I never lost hopes. I researched the market and decided to include more services, said Jabir.
Now apart from covering apartments, offices or a particular area, Jabir and his team also conduct weddings and other functions on the ‘zero waste’ principle. From providing recyclable plates made from ceramic, steel, to providing eco-friendly options for disposable plates like arecanut or traditional banana leaves, Jabir’s company is looking at everything in a Swachh and waste free way.
Apart from this, Jabir conducts literacy programmes in schools, where he teaches children about the different types of waste and how they can segregate the waste effectively.
I want everyone to know about my journey, through my story I want to attract more educated people towards this career, which in our country still is a less-known concept, signs off Jabir Karat.