Source: Forstpost, Tuesday, May 18, 2017
The Ajmer Shatabdi pulls into the New Delhi station every night at around 11 pm. During the six-hour journey from Ajmer, the train serves tea, snacks, soup, dinner and dessert — more food than an average person can eat in that time.As soon as passengers start getting off the train, ragpickers jump in and start scrounging for waste material and leftovers — samosas, biscuits, plastic bottles, wraps and so on. They are a part of India’s massive reserve of ragpickers. Their numbers are estimated between 1.5million and 4 million; Delhi itself has over 500,000.
A lot of garbage clearing thus is the done informally, by ragpickers who work without any job security, salary or dignity. Not just that, they are regularly exposed to cuts, infection, respiratory diseases and tuberculosis apart from poverty, humiliation, harassment, and sexual abuse on the streets, as IndiaSpend investigations found.