May Day tribute: 15,000 waste-pickers save Rs 84 crore for BBMP every year

ragpickers

Yes, it’s true.

In all probability, this number might be an understatement as there maybe be more than 15,000 waste-pickers in the City going about their work every day—building new hopes and sometimes little habitats and hoping that one day, they will live to live and not to repent having lived a life of drudgery amidst a sea of sheer callousness.

A study conducted by Hasiru Dala, Jain University, Bangalore and Solid Waste Management Round Table in 2012 analysed the data of 4,175 registered waste-pickers aged between less-than-20 and above-60. What came to light was a number that this hapless lot could hardly accommodate within the realm of its imagination: 4,175 of them save Rs 23 crore annually. When extrapolated, 15,000 of them collectively keep Rs 84 crore safe in BBMP’s treasury. Continue reading

Your mother could be your own homespun eco-champion

ecostuff

When my mother sat down to hem in the frayed ends of a handloom blanket, it took almost two hours for her arthritic fingers to cut off the extra threads gently and hem the ends in with near-perfect stitches. As she folded the blanket and placed it back in the cupboard, she said: “Handloom blankets are more comfortable than those useless (synthetic) ones. Why do you waste thousand of rupees for those you can’t even wash and reuse for long?” Continue reading

Solid waste management: Between ‘cleanliness’ and godliness lies hypocrisy

Ganesha festival and its after-effects at Sankey Tank in Bengaluru. (Pic source: The Hindu)

Ganesha festival and its after-effects at Sankey Tank in Bengaluru. (Pic source: The Hindu)

When Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was kicked off on October 2 last, one of my Facebook friends reacted to this post and said, “Let’s first learn to put all the waste into one bin and then think of segregating it.” Continue reading

Delhi landfill crisis: Can AAP show the way?

delhi garbage

An image of the Hindustan Times article on Delhi’s garbage crisis published a few months ago.

From the current 9,200 tonnes or 2,300 truckloads, in less than a decade, the capital city of India will have to grapple with 19,100 tonnes or 4,775 truckloads of garbage. According to a parliamentary panel report highlighted by Hindustan Times, Delhiites living on the fringes are refusing to give away their living space to open new landfills. Four landfills have already become stinking heaps. This toxic legacy notwithstanding, the officials’ hope for fixing new landfill sites seems never-ending.

Sounds more like the tale our own beloved Bengaluru? Continue reading

Until the Nobel…

kailash

Kailash Satyarthi

Let’s face this: How many of us knew about Kailash Satyarthi before the Nobel? To be honest, I had read about GoodWeave perfunctorily, but knew nothing about the man behind the mission.

Now everyone is talking about “The philosophy and work of Kailash…” This is how the media fails itself perennially. It fails us, too. Continue reading