The IIC Mission Garima team is working with Tata Trusts and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to develop better working conditions for sanitation workers and more sustainable disposal practices for Mumbai citizens.
Our initial co-design sessions with sanitation workers revealed a need for accessible, nutritious food during their unconventional working hours. The team is currently working with multiple stakeholders to research and develop a pilot for nutritious food access at the chowki level, with hopes of introducing at a city-wide policy level.
Separation can go a long way in reducing waste contamination and overfilling of dumping grounds. The team has completed an exploratory pilot in a 150-household apartment complex that illuminated many of the nuances of the solid waste management system, and is currently working with Advanced Locality Management, an MCGM initiative to encourage waste separation.
Many of the city's chowkis, or work distribution hubs, are in disrepair. The team is helping prepare construction for a model chowki to be built in the Kurla area that would be equipped with a water filter, lockers, washrooms, and other amenities necessary for sanitation workers.
Weekly happenings, musings, and epiphanies from the team
Meet the Team
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Azeem graduated from the University of Chicago (’15) with a B.A. in Biology (specialization in Neuroscience) and a minor in the HIPS program (studying medical ethics and healthcare systems). It is his intention to go on to medical school and get a combined MD/MPH degree. Azeem was drawn to the IIC because of his personal and career interest in understanding how people are affected by infrastructural neglect. He is very interested in learning how to work with a government to effect social change, how to change entrenched institutional policy to incorporate goals for social welfare, and how to generally streamline the work done by institutions that affect large numbers of people.
Nikita has more than three years of experience working on socio-economic rural development projects in India, covering aspects such as renewable energy, livelihoods, poverty alleviation, women empowerment, and community participation. Before joining IIC, she was working as a Research Associate with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on their flagship program Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL). Prior to TERI, she worked as a Young Professional with JEEViKA, a Government of India project supported by the World Bank, for which she was based in Bihar.
Nikita is from New Delhi and holds a Master’s degree from the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). An avid traveler, she likes to spend her free time exploring new places and meeting new people.
Rhythm is a registered architect who graduated from Chandigarh College of Architecture in 2012. He is a GATE Scholar (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) year 2012 All India Rank-1 and received a national scholarship to pursue a Masters of Architecture (Urban Design) from CEPT University, Ahmedabad. During his studies he always had a keen interest in design, and participated in a host of national and international competitions.
He has also extensively travelled throughout Europe and several states of India—Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kashmir and Karnataka—learning about new cultures, cuisines, art and architecture. He believes that traveling is essential for an individual’s overall development. Apart from architecture & traveling, he is a passionate photographer and loves to capture and cover different genres, including architectural, nature, abstracts, life and portraits.
Janey hails from San Jose, CA and Seoul, Korea. She studied political science at the University of Chicago, where she became interested in international development and economic empowerment. This led her to work with United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Data Section, analyzing complaint data and developing ways to focus the Bureau's examinations of banks. She also spent the summer of 2014 working at a youth center in Casablanca teaching English and French. Janey is interested in documentary production and visual storytelling, and hopes to pursue these interests while in India. She also loves ballet but is hoping to transition to Indian dance in order to become an extra in a Bollywood movie in Mumbai.
Parushya has always hoped to wander on the middle path of intermediate technology and humanities. This desire was fulfilled when he got selected for the Young India Fellowship (YIF), a liberal arts and leadership program, after his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering. The variety of courses at YIF helped him build new perspectives about environment and society.
He wants to have a life full of innovative challenges and creative tasks that have the potential to bring about a change and a lasting impact. To this end, the pinnacle of his efforts came when he founded and devised ‘EngiConnect’- A Science Symposium for school students, during the third year of his undergraduate studies. This endeavor to promote ideas amongst students has been a field pioneer in South Karnataka, India. He has interests in politics, economics and photography, and as his hobby, he works as an amateur graphic designer.
He is often found quoting Steve Jobs, whose philosophy about life and design he finds immensely inspiring. He believes that: “People, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Tata Trusts is the philanthropic arm of Tata Sons, one of the largest holding groups in India. The Trust supports a variety of institutions, causes, and individuals working in the social sector in areas such as rural development, education, health, and media.
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), formerly known as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is the governing body of the city of Mumbai and is responsible for the city's infrastructure and administration.
The International Innovation Corps (IIC) is a yearlong fellowship hosted by the University of Chicago that places Indian and American young professionals into Indian public sector institutions to develop scalable solutions to social problems. The IIC aims to jump-start rapid innovation in the Indian government by pairing teams of IIC fellows with partner public sector institutions for one year to solve the great challenges faced by India today.