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Rag-pickers To Work As ‘Environment Warriors’

2,000 rag-pickers from Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon to now get trained on how to segregate garbage and to get the best price for things collected by them

Rag-pickers To Work As 'Environment Warriors'

New Delhi: An institute, set up with the support of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has started an initiative to train rag-pickers how to segregate garbage and to get the best price for things collected by them.

Around 2,000 rag-pickers from north India, primarily Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon, are now on board for waste management projects, Indian Pollution Control Association (IPCA), a brainchild of IIT Delhi, said in a statement.

Also Read: Stay Safe, Stay Healthy: Pune Extends A Helping Arm To Make Ragpickers’ Life Better

Despite their crucial service, India’s rag-pickers struggle for survival. They continue to remain exposed to harmful substances, are paid poor wages and lack civic amenities, said the official statement.

It explained that after segregation, any recyclable item is sold to the ‘kabadiwala’ while the wet waste is sold as cattle feed at a very nominal price.
A major problem they face is the underlying bribing and outsourcing arrangements that have been formed in the neighbourhood, it said. Having access to waste has become a challenge as the Municipal Corporation has started collecting waste from residential societies.

So now, they have to pay MCD officials to buy waste from them in order to collect valuable scraps, and even when they go to collect from the open waste bins, the MCD officials demand a commission, added the official statement.

Also ReadRagpickers Are The Real Hero Of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Amitabh Bachchan

According to an IPCA study, collecting waste from 200 houses would result Rs 20,000-25,000 which was good for the unskilled labourer.

We are working to get them better prices and also to help them fight with the health hazards that come along with the job, said Ashish Jain, IPCA Founder and Director.

Also Read: Integrating 19,000 Ragpickers For Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, This Man From Madhya Pradesh Is Transforming India’s Waste Management Model

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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