Gandhi Chhadi set for Rs.300? Is Swachh Bharat Mission kidding?

So I decided to consider getting a “Gandhi Chhadi” [Gandhi stick] which is a long stick with a pointed metal tip that is useful to pick waste objects off the road without bending. It has been highlighted by Swachh Bharat Mission Urban since last year and a couple of addresses of manufacturers have been provided in a YouTube video.

On enquiry with the first supplier listed in the above video, it turns out they want Rs.300 for a set of these litter pickers and the Mission – yes, a whole Central govt Mission – has no distribution mechanism for this. So it can only be couriered.

Clearly, this shows the emptiness of such campaigns. This low tech device should have been outsourced for production, and made available for everyone to make, like a broom. In fact, modern versions of such pickers are today sold on Amazon, and these have a lever that operates as a gripper.

Not surprisingly, the Mission has not made known a plan to distribute even the old-style Chhadis to municipal workers, who have to keep bending everyday to pick up the trash that you and I toss around carelessly.

This is the one on sale on Amazon India for about Rs.500:


One Comment

  1. I am the principal manufacturer of Gandhi Chhadi. And I am glad that Gandhi Chhadi was noticed by you. I do hope though that you have had a chance to use it, before writing this piece.

    The Gandhi Chhadi is not being provided by Swachh Bharat Mission, but by private manufacturers like me, who have spent significant time and effort in developing it. In fact, we would be glad if SBM adopts this low-tech high-impact device. That is the reason why it needs to be couriered, and couriering the device is a significant portion of that Rs.300 amount. The Gandhi Chhadi is on the SBM portal, because it is effective, not because the SBM is supporting it in any way.

    I have nothing against the new waste collectors that you have shown here. In fact, they do a good job when collecting from any type of surface. Their only drawback is that you have to unload after picking each item. Gandhi Chhadi, on the other hand has been designed to pick multiple pieces of waste from unpaved, sticky, soft or wet areas, which are usually considered difficult.

    The Gandhi Chhadi can be an important tool in the kit for municipal cleaners, but we are having a tough time navigating through all the red tape.


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