Health cover and uniforms too

The court, with the help of NGOs, plans to provide uniforms, identity cards and health cover to as many as 5,000 ragpickers in the City by March 2012.

However, over a period of time, the facilities will be extended to nearly 12,000 ragpickers, said noted environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy.

He was speaking at a workshop on solid waste management organised by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), on Wednesday.

“The ragpickers are neither treated with respect, nor are recognised for their work. Moreover, their remuneration is low. Our initiative is thus an effort to accord respect to them and improve their working condition,” added Reddy.

Ragpickers will be trained in scientific segregation of waste and will also be connected to buyers, who can directly buy waste from them.

This will help them to earn anywhere between Rs 100 and 150 every day, said Reddy. There are about 70,000 rag pickers and 25,000 child ragpickers in Bangalore City alone.

Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare promised to rehabilitate child ragpickers and facilitate them in getting admitted to residential hostels.

“As a first step in this direction, as many as 1,000 children will be enrolled in residential hostels, as part of the initiative. A federation of non governmental organisations has been formed to prepare and submit a list of child rag pickers to the Department of Social Welfare,” he said.

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