Every year in June, wastepickers and other informal waste workers across several cities of Karnataka meet in Bengaluru to to celebrate their contribution to the city, by retrieving valuable material otherwise destined to landfill, in turn saving the ULB money. This annual gathering also offers an opportunity for waste pickers to plan for coming years, share stories and bond.
Followed by a brief formal function, that includes interactions with the officials in a formal inaugural , distribution of certificates to citizens and officials who have supported waste pickers and an appreciation to the children at the Buguri Libraries, the rest of the day in packed with dance , games and songs.
This year, the Chief Guests included Smt. Gangambika, Worshipful Mayor, BBMP and Smt. Soumya Reddy, MLA Jayanagara Constituency. Listen to the formal ceremony here:
The members of Hasiru Dala and CCRA (Clean City Recyclers association), representing 10,000 waste-pickers, itinerant waste buyers, small scrap dealers of Karnataka, who gathered to celebrate Hasiru Habba on 17.06.2019, submitted a memorandum that included the following:
- Recognition of waste-pickers’ and informal waste collectors’ work by formulating a state-wide policy and later law focusing on their integration, livelihood and social protection
- Universal survey of waste-pickers across the state and issuance of occupational identity to everyone
- Decentralized waste management and collection system with a special focus on stream management for each category of the waste. Dry waste is recognized as the right of waste-pickers by the rules and therefore, no changes need to be made in the current system of door to door collection of dry waste by waste-pickers. Instead the municipal authorities should pay their dues in a timely manner to the DWCCs for their work in collection. All DWCCs across Bengaluru and other cities and villages of Karnataka must be allotted to waste-pickers and informal waste collectors and encouraged to engage in door-to-door collection of dry waste
- Including representatives of waste-pickers in expert and monitoring and implementation committees constituted at union, state and municipal/local level
- For social protection of waste-pickers, all schemes relevant to informal/unorganized workers should be extended to waste-pickers, informal waste collectors and their dependents, inclusion of waste-pickers in housing programme, supporting existing housing and shelter initiatives of waste-pickers by extending low rate of interest credit line, free monthly bus passes for waste-pickers to commute within their respective cities, free access to public toilets and special measures for children of waste-pickers and informal waste collectors, including setting up of libraries or learning centres in their respective communities
- Children of waste pickers are one of the most marginalized children in the urban landscape. Their future is severely affected by not having safe and stable housing and access to basic resources like water and electricity. Our children’s program- Buguri Community Library works with children of waste collectors through in their community and understands the day to day struggles of children. With both parents at work, it becomes the children’s responsibility to fend for these basic needs. This severely hampers their education and their access to a safe, hygienic environment. We would like that every housing facility constructed by the government provides the basic services of water and electricity at the earliest.