It was a memorable day in the lives of waste pickers who are working in the dumping ground as it was for the first time they got an opportunity to celebrate the Independence Day by hoisting the national flag, singing the national anthem and shouting patriotic slogans on top of their voice "Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata Ki Jay, Hum Sab Ek Hai. etc.,
Waste Pickers, both women and men gathered at the dumping ground premises early in the morning. The national flag was hoisted by one of the rag pickers who was eldest among them. The national anthem was sung by everyone followed by shouting slogans to show the respect and love for their country. Children sang patriotic songs and women danced to the tunes of various traditional songs. A Street Play by Mr. Raghvendr Tiwari and team was staged to create awareness on the themes alcoholism, child marriage, and importance of education.
Accepting the invitation of the waste pickers, Mr. Rajendr Rathore, the Chairperson of the Health Committee from Indore Municipal Corporation took time to participate in the celebration and interact with them. Mr. Rathore is directly in charge of solid waste management of Indore Municipal Corporation. Waste pickers presented before him their difficulties, struggles, challenges as well as demands. He appreciated them for their contribution in keeping the city clean. He also assured that Identity Cards, BPL Cards, Mazdoor Cards and all the necessary documents would be provided to waste pickers through which they can obtain ration and other social security measures.
Waste pickers play a vital role in Solid Waste Management and keeping the city clean but unfortunately their hard work and service are not being recognized by us and government.
Approximately 700 metric ton waste that is generated in Indore city is being dumped at Devguradia dumping ground. There are about 250 men and women along with about 100 children working daily in the dumping ground picking up waste (plastic, paper, glass and metals). They live their lives from the little money earned from the waste collected.
Janvikas has been working for the past 14 years for the empowerment of waste pickers in Indore through unorganized women workers' union and cooperative.