umc-movement

Building effective systems – The story of Gauri Mirashi

(Photo: Gauri (seventh from right on the bottom row) with her team at EcoSattva)

Implementing effective waste management practices is fundamental for ensuring quality health and hygiene standards. The desire to bring about a change in existing waste management protocol in her surroundings was what drew MUWCI alum Gauri Mirashi into social entrepreneurship.

Co-founder of environmental organization EcoSattva Environmental Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (EcoSattva), Gauri and her team work with a vision to achieve inclusive and sustainable villages, towns, and cities by identifying and implementing systemic solutions to civic and environmental challenges. Presently leading a team of 55 individuals, Gauri remembers her experiences at MUWCI for laying the foundation of her work in environmental sciences.

“The most valuable thing I picked up from MUWCI was the ability to simultaneously hold two or more conflicting ideas in my head. I gained exposure to many diverse individuals and organizations through coursework, Triveni and just life at MUWCI. Getting into this field, I realized that nothing would be straightforward. The ability to navigate that is something I credit to the experiences I gained at MUWCI,” says Gauri.

Gauri shares with us how her studies eventually helped her embrace sustainability work. “I studied environmental science and politics as a Davis scholar at college. Regarding knowledge and skill set, the ability to formally study environmental science, liberal arts, and politics enabled me to think about problems from multiple perspectives. I listened to others more and became more observant, and such qualities translated into my present work.”

When speaking about one accomplishment she feels proud of to date, Gauri talks about contributing towards making impact work a viable career option in smaller towns and cities. “I think being able to inspire people to consider sustainability as a career, mainstream it as something that needs urgent attention from the best minds and thought leaders is rewarding.”

She adds, “Around seven to eight years ago, when we started, social impact in Aurangabad was volunteer-driven. Since we started, other organizations have started having staff members and a management system. Presently, our organization has about 55 individuals who are employed full-time in Aurangabad. I would take some credit for building up the larger impact sector in Aurangabad and other smaller towns.”

Gauri discusses the importance of developing proper systems when asked to share her thoughts on how more people can be mobilized to work for sustainability. “The way we think about systems matters. Consider a social issue and think how the resident would want it addressed, how the safai karamchari (waste collector) would want it addressed, how our elected representative would want it addressed, and so forth. It is only possible to build and sustain a system when multiple stakeholders buy into it, and I think the grounding for that has happened for me at MUWCI.”

We are so grateful to Gauri for her leadership and passion for implementing good waste management practices in Maharashtra and beyond. If you would like to know more about her work, please visit the EcoSattva website: https://www.ecosattva.in/solid-waste-management

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