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 Lakshmi Karunakaran

March 19, 2020

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Waste Narratives. 03/19/2020

We at Hasiru Dala are deeply saddened to share the news that Shivanna, 15-year-old son of waste-pickers Venkatesh and Narsamma passed away this morning in a hospital in Tumkur. He lost the battle for his life after struggling for over a week in intensive care units in the hospitals of Bangalore and Tumkur.

Shivanna had a fatal fall from the third-floor terrace of the Slum Rehabilitation Building in Dibbur that houses 1250 other families with hundreds of other children and adolescents.

This was a much avoidable death. This is not the first time a child has fallen from such a building. Incidents like this have been recorded in other buildings in Bangalore as well. Most of the buildings constructed by the Karnataka Slum Board lack safety, they do not have parapet walls or have doors to the terrace. With parents out to work through the day and children at home, they are at high risk for these kinds of accidents, some of which have been fatal.

This is definitely a design flaw and a huge oversight by the Karnataka Slum Board in terms of assuring the safety of children and adults in these bastis (informal settlements).

We request the Karnataka Slum Board to take cognizance of this high-risk condition and take immediate action to make sure that the safety of our children always remains of utmost importance to all of us.

We mourn the loss of Shivanna, and we hope that we never have to mourn one like this again.

Shivanna, you put up a brave fight. You will always live in our hearts.