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Written by Kabir Arora


Country India

April 03, 2016

Check translation:
Waste Narratives in Bengaluru on 1st, 4th & 5th April, 2016
Written by Kabir Arora. 03/30/2016


Hasiru Dala invites you for Waste Narratives being organized at Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Alternative Forum and Azim Premji University (Dates and Timing Mentioned Below). Waste Narratives is an evening comprising of public reading of the novel Bicycle Dreaming with the author Mridula Koshy, Conversations with the recyclers Akmal Pasha, Salma and Siddique, Mallika, Zareena, Kokila and Annamma and the premier of the photo exhibition of Daastan -e- Nayandahalli: Notes from the Plastic Recycling Hub of Bangalore, by Pinky Chandran and Marwan Abubaker.

About Waste Narratives:

The idea of curating Waste Narratives is to rethink our understanding of informal and informality. The event seeks to throw light on the role played by informal waste workers in managing the waste of our cities, and elucidate the issues of marginalisation.

The photo exhibition titled Daastan-e-Nayandahall: Notes from the Plastic Recycling Hub of Bangalore, is an attempt to engage the general public with recyclers of Nayandahalli and hopes to bring to fore issues of space, the need for recognition of recyclers; present the changing landscape of the area following recent constructions and erase the binary between waste and resource. The year-long project, have chronicled over 2500 photographs and this exhibition, showcases 49 select photographs to reveal the stories from the plastic recycling hub of Bangalore. Photographs of life in Nayandahalli have been taken by Pinky Chandran and Marwan Abubaker.

Bicycle Dreaming
The recently released novel, authored by Mridula Koshy, is a story that revolves around a thirteen-year-old girl, Noor and her father, Mohammad Saidullah, who loses his job of pedaling his bicycle door-to-door to collect household discards. He is then forced to join the ranks of those waste pickers who work New Delhi’s landfills. Noor’s own dream of riding a bicycle is complicated by her conflicted feelings about her father’s livelihood.

“Noor’s father was a kabadiwala. He rode his bicycle from his home as early as seven thirty on some mornings… Change was important in Mohammad Saidullah’s line of work. When he finished weighing the goods- stacks of old newspaper, used up school notebooks, not a blank page left and the covers fallen apart, glass bottles empty of ketchup and liquor, metal tins sharp edged at the rim- and named what he was willing to pay to haul away these discards, the householders all claim that they have no change. If he quoted Rs 18- a fair price for a good sized load that would earn him at least five rupees more when resold to recycling factory- they would pocket his twenty and shake their heads ‘no’. They didn’t have two rupees change for him.”, Excerpt from ‘Bicycle Dreaming’.

Conversation with Recyclers
Meet Akmal Pasha, the leader of an informal organization of godown owners in Nayandahalli; Salma, a volunteer of Hasiru Dala, waste sorter in the godowns of Nayandahalli; Siddique, volunteer of Hasiru Dala, a tempo driver, transporting waste from godowns to reprocessing units, Zareena, Home-based waste sorter; Annama, Operator Dry Waste Collection Center and Kokila and Mallika, organic and event waste manager respectively. (Salma and Siddique also hold the unique distinction of being the country’s first husband and wife informal waste-workers Radio Jockey). They will be narrating first person account of their work and how they transform waste in resource. The conversation will be moderated by Nalini Shekar & Kabir.

Join us for an evening of stories in different languages – English, Hindi, Kannada. Translations will be done, as and when required.

Date: 1st April, 2016 | Time: 06:00pm
Venue: Indian Institute for Human Settlements, 16th Cross, Sadashiv Nagar, Bangalore.

Date: 4th April, 2016 |Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Alternative Law Forum, 122/4, Infantry Rd, Shivaji Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Date: 5th April, 2016| Time: 2:30pm
Venue: Azim Premji University, PES Campus Pixel Park, B Block, Electronics City, Hosur Road, Beside NICE Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka

You all are welcome! Please come and bring your friends, family members and colleagues along. For more details, you can call: +919663427315, write to us: and visit our website: