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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Written by Kabir Arora


Country India

May 25, 2016

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Organized by Alliance of Indian Wastepickers in Collaboration with India Habitat Center

Alliance of Indian Wastepickers is happy to invite you for ‘Waste Narratives’ being organized at India Habitat Center. Waste Narratives is an evening of celebration of solidarities and comprises of public reading of Bicycle Dreaming with the author Mridula Koshy and interspersed by personal stories of waste-pickers – Gautham, from Amravati- Andhra Pradesh, Ratnabai Khrate, from Indore- Madhya Pradesh, Hasnoor Bi, from Deonar Dump, Mumbai- Maharashtra and one more waste picker from Delhi (name is being finalized). Panel will be moderated by Jyoti Mhapsekar, President, Stree Mukti Sangathana, Maharashtra.

Date: Thursday 2nd June, 2016
Time: 19:00h
Venue: Gulmohar Hall, Habitat World, India Habitat Center, Lodi Colony, New Delhi (Entry from Gate No. 3 from Vardhaman Marg). India.

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 waste pickers and other informal waste workers in managing the waste of our cities, and elucidate the issues of marginalisation.

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 Waste-pickers

Waste-pickers – Gautham, from Amravati- Andhra Pradesh, Ratnabai Khrate, from Indore- Madhya Pradesh, Hasnoor Bi, from Deonar Dump, Mumbai- Maharashtra and one more wastepicker from Delhi (name is being finalized) will be sharing their reflections, dilemmas, struggles and victories. The panel will be moderated by Jyoti Mhapsekar, Stree Mukti Sangathana. Recently notified Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 & Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 by Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change lay important emphasize on inclusion and integration of waste pickers and informal waste dealers in solid waste management. Waste-pickers and other informal waste dealers have won the long battle of dignity, respect and inclusion. It is both a matter of pride and joy. In their reflections waste-pickers will also be speaking about the inclusion in new rules and the way forward.

Alliance of Indian Wastepickers

Alliance of Indian wastepickers is a national coalition of organizations working with waste-pickers and other informal waste workers. The alliance was created to have coordinated efforts to ensure inclusion of waste pickers in various national level policy frameworks.

For any queries, you can drop an email-, or call +919663427315 and to RSVP you can visit the facebook page of the event.