Any household-waste’s ballpark figure stands around at 850 grams a day. And needless to say about the whopping population of India, each household-waste when clubbed accounts to 62 million tonnes annually. Do you ever wonder about them who unfortunately embrace what you discard? Do you ever realize to thanks them who is somewhere, although indirectly, responsible for the cleanliness of your home? Yes, rag-pickers of India are those whose role has a lot to create impact in our lives but unfortunately not enough to deserve our gratitude.
Well, the day finally came when rag-picker’s significance was felt by Indian government. Service by rag-pickers was recognized and supported with a decision of honouring them with a national award for clean India.
“There are millions of rag pickers in the country. This informal sector has saved the country. They are doing a good job and I have decided to recognise their efforts. We will grant national award,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said at an event on waste management here.
Three top rag-pickers in the list will be given an award along with the cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh.
At present, agencies that handle solid waste are working on contractual basis and this has failed miserably. Handling waste cannot always be a profitable business. We have suggested that the Urban Ministry build a credible agency like DMRC that can give scientific guidance,” he said.
The Minister also mentioned that there are adequate funds for waste management. “What is lacking is scientific guidance to handle different kinds of waste,” he said.
Annual waste which accounts to 62 million in India is expected to augment soon, touching 165 million by 2030 and 450 million by 2050. What’s more stressing is that 68% of it remains untreated.
Rising waste production is undoubtedly a concern for India but this out-of-the-blue decision of delivering a token of appreciation and cash is a commendable initiative by Indian government. Kudos to it!
By prerna Daga
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