“niiti”, a Sanskrit word means, in different contexts, policy, ethics, tenets. To us, who belong here, it is our raison d’etre, our touchstone. So we constantly turn to our ethics and tenets when we re-examine the basis of what we do and how we do it over and over again. This is our space to engage with our core, with you, our readers and companions on the path towards an equitable society in the deepest meaning of the word. Over the past years, there are several social issues and organisations that we have engaged with and been enriched with both experience and knowledge along the way. We believe that in creating a conversation platform for those engaged in the field, including some of our clients, partners, all of you out there who have reached this site wanting to be the change and others who have expertise to comment and critique, we can actually crowd-source actions and solutions for some of our most pressing social issues.

Some of these stories feature organisations and people who have been the change; others highlight innovative approaches to long-entrenched social issues; yet others point to ways in which change can be facilitated, simply. If you are inspired by them as well and motivated to replicate their work, or want to share inputs on other bright examples like these, do write to us at

This is your platform. Feel free to contribute, critique, and most importantly, converse.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Conserve India

Reuse-Reduce-Recycle – the three “R’s” the mantra for environment conservation. All of us have heard of it but only few start initiatives that put words into action.

Anita and Shalabh Ahuja founded Conserve India as an NGO to recycle the waste in their neighbourhood that wasn't being managed by local authorities. They quickly realised that plastic bags pose the biggest problem in Delhi, not only because there are so many of them but also because they could not be recycled locally. After much experimentation the team at Conserve India realised that the solution lays in upcycling the bags into sheets of plastic that could be reinvented as fashion accessories. They named this material Handmade Recycled Plastic. Conserve converts the ‘nuisance’ called plastic into coveted handbags, shoes and accessories.

Handmade Recycled Plastic :

Over 300 crafts persons and rag pickers are employed with Conserve in Delhi and Haryana.

Conserve upcycles approximately 1.5 to 2 tons of waste into 5000 HRP sheets every month.  It has not only brought dignity to the rag pickers but pays them thrice as much they would be paid outside. These workers of Conserve also undergo medical screenings to help them diagnose health problems on time and send their young children to the Conserve School. It has trained more than 1200 people making of handbags and footwear.

Conserve works with different kinds of materials like plastic, rubber tubes, denim, seat belts, and old fabrics. Conserve products are sold across various international stores across the globe.

Some people behind Conserve India:

Santosh Kumar started collecting plastic bags for Conserve because he can earn three times as much selling his bags to be made into Handmade Recycled Plastic instead of selling the rubbish he collects elsewhere. Bharti has been working for Conserve from the start and has done many jobs.  Today she works in one of the most important departments of the whole organisation; quality control and packing. Alka and Aditi meet buyers and collaborate with designers, as well as maintain relationships with long standing clients, and establish new contacts with potential customers. 

To know more visit

Dr. Sudeshna Chatterjee works with niiti and is a development economist and works as a consultant for the development sector. Designing, strategising and fathoming impacts of initiatives aimed at upliftment of socio-economic conditions of the underprivileged is her forte. She helps organisations both profit and not-for-profit, who think and work for the underprivileged. She conducts socio economic impact studies, monitoring and evaluation of projects, documentation of initiatives and case studies.


  1. Hats Off!! to All of you at NIITI. Its a tremendous effort and highly appreciable vision.Nothing better could be thought of for not only the under privileged but also for the Environment!!
    My heart felt wishes to you ALL!

  2. Hats Off!! to All of you there at NIITI. Its a highly appreciable and commendable work with a smart vision,keeping in mind not only the sustainability of the under previliged but also our Environment!!!