Rag Pickers

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Who is Rag-Pickers and Importance of Rag-Pickers in Helping the Environment Clean?

Who is Rag-Pickers?

Rag picking is probably one of the most dangerous activities in India. Coming from the poorest of the poor, rag-pickers are highly stigmatized and often looked down upon as beggars or scavengers. But this unorganized band of laborers, most of whom come from backward classes and are not recognized either by society or institutions, play a vital role in keeping our cities clean.

Rag-pickers play a vital role in cleaning waste, particularly plastic on the streets. Large piles of waste are often found on beaches, outside colonies, schools, colleges and offices. They collect trash and sell it at meager prices to local Scrap-Dealers.

Importance of Rag-Pickers in Helping the Environment Clean?

  1. They help us clean our city.
  2. They care for our city so that we can live in clean and health place.
  3. They know everything from segregating waste to maintaining it.
  4. They know Waste Management.
  5. They play important role through supplying waste to the recycling industry, reducing the pressure on natural resources (such as paper plantation, extraction of iron ore etc.) & in conserving the environment.
  6. Their work is Unorganized, Unpaid then also they do it for living.
  7. The daily waste collected by them is 1096 kg.
  8. Even if they get diseases they keep collecting waste so that the city is cleaned.
  9. They work as rag-picker to ensure safe and effective disposal of solid waste.

Problems faced by Rag-pickers:-

  1. People that they are beggars so they beat them and we don’t let them collect waste.
  2. They face harassment by police and authorities.
  3. Diseases like respiratory problems and tuberculosis is very common.
  4. Majority of rag pickers have different types of diseases such as Cancer, Diarrhea, Jaundice, Malaria, Allergy, Fever, Flew, Cuts/injuries, Dog bites etc.
  5. They work with bare hands and feet in a toxic environment. The fumes, feces, deadly germs, stench have a horrendous effect on their health.

This is one community that should be given special medical treatment but even government hospitals refuse to treat them. The responsibility also falls into the consumer’s hand.

Rag pickers are the heroes that India needs and they should be treated equally. With proper safety gears and gadgets, better healthcare services and recognition, they can be our key to beat plastic pollution and save our ‘Environment’ Day.

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