Friends of the Environment

A typical day in the life of a rag-picker consists of her heading out to work between 2 and 3 am, walking for nearly 8-10 km, scavenging in dump sites and alley ways, bending up and down a minimum of 1000 times, to collect nearly 20 kg of recyclable waste from our city’s streets. She sorts and sells the waste to community pitas (waste collection centers), earning nearly Rs.100-Rs.140, enough for hand-to-mouth survival of her and her family. There are 40,000 such women in Ahmedabad who collectively pick up 8,00,000 kg of waste every single day. As they are offering such an immense service to society and the environment, we call them Paryavaran Mitra, Friends of the Environment.

Let’s meet some of these Unsung heroines.