fbpx

Massive workforce of “ragpickers” keeps New Delhi clean, demands official recognition

Ashok, 34, began working as a ragpicker young and resides not too far away. A shack made of bamboo sticks and tin sheets, with the kitchen on the front porch, makes up his home. He lives with his wife and five children.

NEW DELHI, India – The city of New Delhi’s waste management efforts depends on the efforts of a large workforce, the majority of whom come from the informal sector. New Delhi’s “ragpickers” often work as unregistered employees in insecure jobs. No established safety procedures or protective equipment exists to shield them from risk. They frequently get sick and have no coverage in the healthcare system.

In El Salvador, similar informal workers struggle to survive. Read this story from Orato World Media.

At a waste management facility in Uttam Nagar, west of New Delhi, working conditions proved deplorable. Ashok, 34, began working as a ragpicker young and resides not too far away. A shack made of bamboo sticks and tin sheets, with the kitchen on the front porch, makes up his home. He lives with his wife and five children. He says he shall do everything he can to provide for his kids and educate them.

Business Insider covered this epidemic in a recent video, shared from YouTube.

According to the workers in New Delhi, they start their day at 5:00 a.m. and conclude at 6:00 pm. They pay the contractors 5,000 rupees per month just to gain access to the waste coming into the plant. From there, they pick through the garbage for sellable items and pawn them. A desirable item can garner an average of 250-300 rupees. The monthly income of a ragpicker ranges from 10,000 to 15,000 rupees. This is the equivalent of $121 to $181 U.S. dollars.

From this, they pay rent, feed themselves and their families, celebrate festivals and buy toys for their children. The workers demand to be recognized officially. They seek the status of permanent employees and acknowledgement for their lifetime of service. Being officially recognized would also ensure job safety and a steady source of income.

All photos courtesy of Saurav Kumar Mishra and Shivam Khanna

Translation Disclaimer

Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.

#GlobalCooperationNow

Pledge to be a #ConsciousCitizen today and demand #GlobalCooperationNow! by signing this petition. Sign Our Petition.

Saurav Kumar Mishra is a storyteller based out of New Delhi, India. He chooses to use photography as his medium to tell stories. Currently, he is working on highlighting social issues that require public attention for aid to begin.