The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 32 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Supported by Logo WIEGO

The Association of Ragpickers

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Primary information

Year formed
Registered in
Formally registered
Bangla, English, Hindi, Urdu
Number of groups
Number of members
Type of members
Members are waste pickers
Occupation of members
Scrap dealers, Waste collectors, Waste pickers
Type of Organization
Community based organization
Organizational Reach
Workplace of members
Open, Slums, Street
Organization Structure
There is an Executive Committee, constituted with the participation of waste-pickers: President, Secretary, Treasurers. The organization is spread across 5 areas, with sub-committee in each of the areas. Waste-pickers are members of the sub-committee.
Education and training
Business & project management, Leadership training, Learning exchange, Literacy & school, Mobilization, Rights & duties, Risks & health, Waste management
Partnering organizations
Tiljala Shed
Membership fees, Self funded
Internal elections
Every 5 years
Women composition
60,5% 161

Social networking sites


Member benefits
Child assistance programmes, Clean & healthy environment, Education programmes, Id cards, Savings or credit scheme, Social & pension benefits, Training & advocacy
Safety & Technology
Safety boots


What kind of relationship exists with the municipality?
How is the relationship with the municipality?
Conflictual and/or problematic
Types of materials
Bones, Bottles, Cans, Electronic waste, Glass, Metals, Paper and cardboard, Plastic, Plastics, Shoe soles
Are they selling to middlemen?
Buying materials, Cleaning, Collection of recyclables, Sensitization of locals, Sorting waste, Training and capacity building, Waste collection, Waste sorting
Challenges to access waste
Availability of waste, Contamination from waste, Exploitation, Foul smell & contamination from waste, Harassment from authorities, Lack of education & training, Lack of infrastructure & resources, Lack of recognition, Lack of unity between organizations, Price fluctuations of waste, Transportation

Complementary Information

Information source
The information was filled by Ayesha Bibi and submitted to the Alliance of Indian Wastepickers

Comments / Narrative

The Association of Ragpickers (ARP) of Kolkata is an autonomous organization run by waste-pickers with the support of Tiljala SHED. The waste-pickers are in executive position. The organization has its own bank account. The members are engaged in waste collection. The organizing activities have helped in increasing the income of waste-pickers. The organization members aka waste-pickers meet regularly to discuss the issues of issuance of occupational identity cards, festivals planning, health clinics and access to social entitlements. Thanks to the organizing effort, the waste-pickers have been enrolled in the State-Assisted Scheme of Provident Fund for Unorganized Workers (SASPUW). The organization is fighting for rights and entitlements for waste-pickers.

Last updates from The Association of Ragpickers