Rag-pickers keep railway station clean

A rag-picker collecting plastic wastes on the tracks of the railway station in Visakhapatnam on Monday.A selfless service seldom acknowledged has finally turned into a boon for the travellers at Vizag Railway Station. Thanks to rag-pickers, the railway station wears a cleaner and litter-free look. A group of men silently work on the tracks each time a train departs. Their job is to pick up all the leftover plastic wastes and water bottles that clog the tracks of the railway line.

Carrying a white sack on their shoulders, the men get to work from the early hours of the day, gathering every piece of plastic waste strewn around the station. These, they later sell to local dealers of acid wash who recycle and reuse the bottles. The process has left the railway station litter-free, giving a welcome relief to the scores of passengers who travel from the city. Vizag, being a popular tourist destination in the State, is visited by tourists from across the country. This initiative has paid off to ensure that station is plastic-free.

“We estimate around 1,200 rag-pickers to be present in and around the Vizag Railway Station area,” said P. Vasu of Association for Regional Tribal Development (Urban Wing).

Many of these rag-pickers live under the Ramamurthy Pantulupeta bridge and Sagar Nagar area and make a living by selling such wastes to scrap dealers.

Incidentally, the practice to engage rag-pickers to keep local railway stations clean is prevalent at some of the other stations such as New Delhi, Dehradun and Haridwar.





About local2globe

Faculty of soft skills, personality development and Humanities.

4 responses to “Rag-pickers keep railway station clean”

  1. anand1962 says :

    Thank you for the information.There is nothing “selfless” about the job being performed by these ragpickers.They are destitutes who are exploited.The railways cannot neglect their duty to keep the stations and trains clean.

    I live in Bangalore,which was wallowing in garbage because the city could not find a suitable method to sort out and dispose of the waste.

    The solution seems to lie in getting the co operation of reputed private parties (like ITC)to sort the garbage.The services of NGOs( like EXNORA in Chennai)should also be utilised.

    I do not wish to comment on the “Garbage Mafia” which is operating in big cities.

  2. Raxa Collective says :

    Hi L2G, thanks for introducing yourself by following our site. We look forward to exploring yours. You might enjoy our post about the Vik Muniz project Wasteland:http://raxacollective.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/dont-blink/

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