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Waste Segregation: Too difficult for urban households?

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By Sanket Jain

The onset of summer and the lack of initiatives by educated families will cut short the hope of a bright future for the rag pickers in Pune city.

The rag pickers from Aundh area of Pune claim that the lack of initiatives by urban societies has created a threat to their existence.

When asked to segregate the waste into wet waste and dry waste, most of the urban households rejected the idea and dumped the waste without any in-house segregation.

Enraged by the callousness, the waste pickers started complaining and, in response, most of the urban societies of Aundh and Baner area in Pune started dumping their garbage in the private trucks.

The retaliatory move by the households came as a lethal blow to the waste pickers. The action cost the employment of most of the waste pickers.

The rag pickers have to undergo severe torment to segregate the waste. On researching, it was found that most of the rag pickers did not even have proper gloves and boots required for the segregation. Unhygienic conditions coupled with the lack of immediate action by the educated people have added to their problems. The menace has imperiled the lives of the rag pickers and most of them are suffering from some disease.

In the city of Pune, more than 5000 rag pickers are involved and all of them have the same problem.

The government and the ward members seem unavailing. One of the rag pickers from the Baner area claimed that the educated people should not play politics, at least when it comes to garbage.

Waste Segregation, if not undertaken properly, can have devastating effects ranging from deaths to an outbreak of epidemics.

Waste Segregation was made mandatory by the Supreme Court and Government of India Gazette dated 3rd October 2001 under the Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling rules 2000.

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