The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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Country India

April 25, 2013

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Chintan-Safai Sena Team on Earth Day - April 22, 2013. Photo credit: Chintan.

Chintan-Safai Sena Team on Earth Day – April 22, 2013. Photo credit: Chintan.

Text and photo contributions from Imran Khan, assistant manager with Chintan

Chintan celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd in partnership with the Indian Railways at the New Delhi Railway Station. The Chintan team along with waste pickers with Safai Sena encouraged commuters to sign pledges, to not litter the station and to crush plastic bottles before discarding them. Chintan has a contract with the Indian Railways and the waste pickers work at four different railways in New Delhi. They have recently been provided with electricity, allowing them to set up a plastic shredder where they process the plastic bottles.

Last year, Chintan held a similar event at the station. “We were thrilled by the response we got from the passengers,” said Imran Khan, assistant manager with Chintan. This year, the group set up pledges at two platforms where the waste recyclers educated passengers on the work they do and how they keep the station clean. The passengers pledged to crush bottles before discarding them and to dispose waste only in the dustbins. The event was attended by the Station Master as well as the Railway Police force. They too took pledges and congratulated the waste recyclers on their work. “We spread awareness on keeping the environment clean as well as the importance of the work done by the waste pickers,” said Imran.

“Ragpickers swear passengers to green oath” (Times of India)

“Efforts to make stations garbage free” (Hindustan Times)