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Ragpickers – Environmental Heroes

In Asia the growth of solid-waste generation poses alarming threats to health and environment. The infrastructure has been unable to keep pace with the economic development and the population growth. More than 55 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is generated in urban Indian cities annually and is increasing at a rate of 1-1.33% annually. In the financial capital Mumbai, 8000 tons of solid waste is generated every day and dumped into the open.


Rag pickers are highly discriminated in India despite the important job they do of collecting and recycling waste material. They are victims to diseases and accidents due to dangerous items, such as broken glass, needles and explosive gas thrown in the open. The municipal corporation cannot pick up the tons of waste, which is generated in the city every day. The rag pickers fill the gap. For this work they are not paid by the city and they are not recognized as work force. They earn their living through selling dry waste to scrap dealers and earn less than US$ 2 a day.

This video is featuring a family who work as ragpickers. The video is part of a long term photography project about ragpickers, waste management and environmental health.

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