This project brings some of the issues to our urgent attention such as poverty, deprivation, economic exploitation, poor health condition, violation of children’s right, drug substance abuse and illiteracy. This project proposal emphasizes the need to empower the poor and marginalised children as well as sensitize the parents towards the better physical and psychosocial care of their children.
Thus this project deals with the rag picker children who are part of over a million people whose livelihood is through waste picking which encompasses retrieving waste, transportation, recycling and reuse of waste material. “What is disconcerting are the conditions in which resources are picked from waste, the low returns that contribute to daily subsistence the degraded status to which pickers and collectors are reduced, and the vulnerability and deprivation they face. Children, who form the major portion of the waste picking population, pose a series of policy dilemmas for the government, international agencies and those working amongst them.”
At the bottom of the waste pyramid, are poorly paid rag pickers. In Mumbai, a city of 16 million inhabitants, rag picking is the only option for thousands. They gather waste in the streets and dump yard and deliver it to middle men. The middle men operate shops and warehouses where it is sorted out according to quality.
The rag pickers are forced to go through mental pressure due to various reasons such as drug addiction of parents, parental dispute, and single parenthood, long time treatment of the sick family members, sexual abuse, drug substance abuse and harassment by the police and the staff of the BMC. In some cases, the rag pickers were put in the remand home for without any kind of crime. The recent ban on employing Child Labour has put more fear in them. There is a dire need to provide them counselling to bring them to normalcy.
Spending most of their time in the unhygienic dumping areas causes them to be infected with various diseases. Little awareness on health and hygiene and negligence on getting treatment make the condition worsen. Even if they go for treatment they are looted by fake medical practitioners. Less access to safe drinking water welcomes many more infectious diseases in addition.