Fund new livelihoods for ragpickers
Focus: Social Exclusion, Livelihoods
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Help a ragpicker move to a safer livelihood option!
Only extreme poverty drives the homeless – often rural migrants to the city – to eke a living out of other people’s rubbish. It is a degrading and hazardous job, especially as Kolkatans do not segregate waste at source, with ragpickers often exposed to dangerous and toxic substances. Without education and skills, plying rickshaws, selling fruit and vegetables or running a tea stall appeal as a viable livelihood options.WHY IN KOLKATA?
The ‘City of Joy’ is home to the poorest of India’s poor, with the per capita income being just Rs 27 a day. And now, with the government’s cleanliness drive, ragpickers too have been driven out of work and need alternative sources of income.
The ragpicker, despite doing work that benefits the municipality and society at large is condemned to live a very insecure existence.
In India, the people who handle our waste are invisible: we do not know them and do not acknowledge their role in our society. These people should be looked at as carbon assets. They are negating our carbon footprint.
It is poverty that makes us do this work. If I had an alternative, I wouldn't be doing it. Who would like to collect garbage? I don't want my children to come into the business. I want them to do something better.
Based on a successful test project in 2016, TSHED will set up a microcredit programme with the funds raised to give small grants of about Rs 15,000 to rag pickers. These will help them start alternative businesses such as cycle rickshaw and van driving, vegetable selling, garment making, etc. The grants will be conditional on beneficiaries repaying the loan with a tiny interest to a revolving fund and protecting and educating their children.
DAUGHTERS of manual scavengers rarely get beyond primary school thanks to discrimination and extreme poverty. Help Jan Sahas provide stationery and books for 1,000 such girls to ensure they remain in school.