fredag 1. mai 2020

A coronavirus time bomb waiting to explode: India’s 4 million waste pickers

On a balmy Tuesday afternoon in the city of Faridabad in the Indian state of Haryana, an orange and blue Municipal Corporation truck drives through a residential street, playing a loud recording reminding residents to wash their hands and not leave their homes during the country’s
strict coronavirus lockdown.

Ashok, a garbage collector who goes by only one name, jumps out and rings the doorbells of each house. Some people bring out their trash and hand it to him, while others stand on their balconies and throw it directly into the truck. This is the first month he has been given gloves and a mask to wear. He used to be accompanied by a colleague, but since the lockdown began, he comes alone. Ashok is worried and fears for his health while doing his rounds. But he has to eat, and so he must work.