A Pune-based startup - Spruce Up, has come up with an innovative solution Jatayu, a litter picking machine to help sanitation workers gather litter without any contact.
The machine lets sanitation workers collect garbage without using their hands. The device was initiated to fight the accumulation of wastes from Covid-19 patients that threatens the safety of sanitation workers and could contribute to the spread of the pandemic.
The mastermind of the project, Abhishek Shelar is an alumnus of Harvard and IIT Bombay who wanted to secure the safety and dignity of the workers. His creation Jatayu is capable of solving the current obstacles put on the 'manual scavengers' handling the Covid-waste.
Covid-19 has not just hindered our health infrastructure but our waste management system too. A report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in the National Green Tribunal in July stated that the nation produces close to 101 metric tonnes per day of bio-medical waste due to the Covid-10 pandemic.
This is where the existence of Jatayu becomes crucial as Shelar developed it as an attempt to protect about four million waste pickers in the country that deal with this waste.
Before developing this project, the founder of Spruce Up and his team discussed the possibility of their idea with various manufacturers, researchers and developers to produce their first product, Jatayu HD.
The contactless litter picking machine can fetch up to two tonnes of garbage per day.
One of the first buyers of the Jatayu machine was Delhi Municipal Corporation. Biotic Waste Management has reported that Delhi produced about 7.2 tonnes of Covid waste per day in 2020 and increased to produce 12.5-13 tonnes per day by the end of April this year.