Journey of Conserve India through the eyes of Founder and Creative Director – Anita Ahuja

Conserve India, a seed of change sown on 27 March 1998 has literally withstood so many test of time and has grown into an inspiring Tree of life providing shade to 300 people. At this juncture, I like to thank everyone who was part of this exemplifying journey.

It was tremendous success after all we had 15 Milestones in 15 Years

As we celebrate 15 successful years, folks have so many Questions on where we started, how we got here etc.

Join me as I walk down the memory lane……..

Year 1997

A bunch of Environmental conscious group got to together over a cup of coffee. And, we closed off with a decision to empower the community through training in energy efficiency and waste management practices

To give life to the ideas, the very same environmental conscious group met the Deputy Commissioner to obtain a small park in Madhuban (area where I stay) to build a composting pit.

1st milestone – We constructed a pit from the segregates waste of 200 houses

The deputy commissioner was so very pleased and asked all of us to meet the Chief minister of Delhi. Well, we did that. The chief minister asked us to use this as a model project which she is launching by the name of “Bhagyadari”.

Year 1998

2nd Milestone – Conserve India got registered in the year 1998.

While working on all these, we equally devoted time for networking to achieve bigger and better things. During one of those networking sessions with USAID, we got acquainted to Joe loper from an NGO called “Alliance to Save Energy”.

3rd Milestone – We received our first project – Formation of council of energy efficiency companies in 1998

As a stroke of luck, around the same time one of our patrons, Late Mr. P.R. Kumarmanagalam became power minister. We got him aboard to support our energy efficiency projects.

Year 2000

4th Milestone – We worked with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and conducted a study on waste management practices in a low income area

Year 2000 – 2004

We worked with several groups on environmental issues

Year 2004

5th Milestone – We gave life to the idea of working with plastic waste

Year 2005

In spite of so many difficulties associated in entering a trade show, Conserve achieved the target of participation in trade show.

6th Milestone – Participation in India International Leather Fair –IILF from January 30 to February 4’ 2005 at Chennai, India

We were successful in getting our largest ever single order from Spain in this fair and that too from a very prominent Design label

7th Milestone – Participation in Export Promotion Council’s International Trade Fair from February 25 to March 01’ 2005 at Delhi, India

The stall received enthusiastic response and generated more than 1500 footfalls over a 4 day period.

Year 2006

8th Milestone – Received Patent for the process of Handmade Recycled Plastic

Around the same time,unfortunately the slum where we trained our rag pickers got demolished. All the rag pickers move to new location called “madan pur khadir”

Year 2007

9th Milestone – We established our first factory in patparganj, Delhi.

We also created infrastructure that can be used for training as well as creating jobs. As a first step, we started training programs for producing handbags and footwear.

We initiated micro credit programs for employees to buy machines and tools to set up independent units

Year 2009

10th Milestone – We initiated Health camps and mobile health clinic

Beneficiaries – 2586 rag-pickers (Numbers are accurate as of March 2014)

At the same time, the rag pickers locality of madan pur khadir slum gets demolished. The rag pickers are pushed out of Delhi, towards an area called Bahadurgarh in Haryana

Year 2011

11th Milestone – we established our own factory on 04 February 2011 in a recognized industrial area – Bahadurgarh in Haryana

Year 2012

12th Milestone – Established a school for rag picker children

Beneficiaries – 100, sons and daughters of rag-pickers (Numbers are accurate as of March 2014)

13th Milestone – Established Center for Adult Literacy

Beneficiaries – 30 Women (Numbers are accurate as of March 2014)

Year 2013

14th Milestone – Handbags & Footwear training center trained 1200 people in total

15th Milestone – 50 people were given micro credit to buy machines and tools to set up independent units

Year 2014

With generous support and contribution of so many employees, consultants, buyers, interns and well-wishers we are celebrating 15 successful years of “Conserve India”

Icing on the cake is that we will be celebrating successful completion of 1150 days of Bahadurgarh Factory on March 30’ 2014.

Catch you soon once again during that celebration

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