Hope you have entered in 2021 with a solid resolutions, here is a social resolution cause and thought provoking story.
I have shared my observations while traveling in previous posts. Another heart-breaking site is poor ragpickers and road cleaners collecting the waste using flat sunmica (a common word used for laminates) or metal pieces, scraping the material, and putting it in the wheelbarrow.
We all saw PM Modiji on the seashore collecting the trash that we left on the shore. Modiji was there for about an hour and collected bags full of trash materials.
On that day, 11 Oct 2019, Mr. Sudheer Barve, an Indian, settled in the UK for the last 17 years, an industrial designer from IIT Bombay, decided to design a product that will help minimize the risk of working with bare hands.
Now he has a performance product with good looks ready to go places. Social cleanliness is new to India, brought about by the GOI through various missions. He considers this as a humble contribution to the serving nation. The product was designed in the UK by his company. It is his intellectual property, and it is ready to be proudly made in India.
When I interviewed him, I asked about his experiences and observations, and he made very SCARY revelations that fired me up. He saw the bleeding cow, whose tongue was slashed due to the glass shreds, while trying to find some food from the waste bin near the roadside. Rag pickers are vulnerable to injuries and various diseases.
WHEN DO WE START SEGREGATING OUR WASTE AT SOURCE? WHEN WILL WE REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
“We spoke with some street cleaners, and I was shocked to know what gets collected as a part of a routine street cleaning job. Dry and wet leaves, soil, plastic bits and bobs, scrap, glass shreds from bottles and light tubes, used syringes, condoms, used sanitary pads, dead mice, dog poo, human feces, clothes, diapers, footwear, etc. to mention the important ones. With Covid-19, there is the addition of thrown away masks, tissues, aprons, gloves or similar stuff that can be contaminated. We also could understand that there are chances that one would find a snake in the heap of dry leaves, and it can be dangerous. No one wants to handle it manually. Our grabber does it without touching the stuff.” Mr. Sudheer explained.
“The product is useful for street cleaners and society premises cleaners. There are thousands of cleaners, rag pickers in every city. They have no implements, so their job is strenuous, back-breaking. With this product, workers will qualitatively and quantitatively improve their efficiency. More than anything else, their safety will improve.” He Continued.
“I have named the product NaMO’s Hands. I think it would emotionally connect millions of us to the cause of a cleaner India; and will emphasize that we are NaMo’s hands in this mission. I firmly believe that under the Swacch Bharat mission this product can reach every tehsil, town, and the village of India.” Mr. Sudheer added.
Namo’s Hands is a great pair as leaf grabber because you can pick much larger volume without the fear of ants or even snakes. It can boost composting if the efficiency of picking is improved. People are also using it in Gowshalas to collect gomutra and to clean the cow dung soon after.
Here is a small presentation of the product applications and usefulness. With reliable recycling facility connects he will also think of using recycled plastic in the future.
And here is a small demonstration of the product in videos.
Ragpickers and street cleaners are also humans. We should abide by the Indian pledge. It says; ” All Indians are my brothers and sisters. In their well-being and prosperity alone, lies my happiness.”
Small change is better than no change at all! Think within your personal capacity how you can help improve the life of these brothers and sisters.
Here are the contact details of Mr. Sudheer Barve and costing.
Sudheer appealed to the private donors, tursts, NGOs, social clubs, CSRs and NRI to sponsor it for a place of their choice. It could be a sea shore, a slum, a garden , a temple or a gowshala.
I foresee that the sanitation field will soon secure the space in a dignified carrier with continual improvement in the innovative tools and increased awareness!
I feel that it would be inspirational for many talented Indians outside India to do their bit for the country.
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Stay Safe Out There!
PS: Here are some research paper references for those who would like to know more about the life of these brothers and sisters
- Child Ragpickers in India and Violation of Their Human Rights
- Effectiveness of Awareness Package on Occupational Health Hazards among Ragpickers of New Delhi, India
- Assessment of Socio Economic Condition and Role of Rag Pickers in Municipal Solid Waste Management in Allahabad City (U.P.) India
- Studies on the Solid Waste Collection by Rag Pickers at Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, India
- Problems Faced and Safety Instruments used by Female Ragpickers involve in Informal Sector in Urban Area of District, Sirsa Haryana
These are just to name a few, I request you to be considerate about these workers.