Source: DNA, New Delhi, Feb 14, 2018
A discussion titled 'The City of Waste' comprising varied panel of artists, activists and researchers was organised on Tuesday at the Indian Habitat Centre (IHC). With growing awareness about environmental issues that has been a constant concern for the educated members of the society, the seminar sought to add a bucket into the ocean in an interactive way.Most importantly, the importance, challenges and mechanisms of recycling were discussed at length by the photographers as well as the speakers. Vijay Chauhan, from the government approved plastic market in Tikri Kalan, West Delhi was also present to comment on the ignorance of the authorities towards his organisation. " In a country like India, where a majority of the population is poor, not all people can afford expensive goods. Recycling has made it possible to produce cheap goods in spite of the heavy inflation rates, making basic products available for public use. The government on the other hand, has been extremely insensitive to the whole matter, and has applied 5% GST on recycled goods," he said.
Two French photographers, Pascal Garret and Benedicte Florin gave a joint presentation casting some light onto the lives that are affected in the waste collection business. "The participation of these people in the activity is crucial for the protection of the environment. The stigma that surrounds the job impedes their progress and confiscates social justice for them. They are being marginalised and pushed to the periphery over and over again. In additional to their social invisibility, they are also professionally invisible, lacking basic job security or legal rights," they collectively pointed out.