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June 04, 2020 AARUSHI JAIN 0 Comments




This is a report on the webinar-Waste Management and Women Waste Pickers during COVID-19. It was held on 04th June, 2020, Saturday from 08:00p.m onwards. This webinar is organized by EMPOWER PEOPLE and Hridaya Ajgaonkar handled all the key speakers and interacted with them about the waste management.

The key speakers are as following -:

  • ·         Sushila Sable(President ,Parisar Bhagini Vikas Sangha)
  • ·         Lalita (Social Worker, Stree Mukti Sanghatana)

Waste management (or waste disposal) includes the activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes the collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with monitoring and regulation of the waste management process. The people talk about only two waste but here we discuss and for three ways of segregation that is wet waste, dry waste and domestic hazardous waste.

The problems faced by waste pickers:-


1.      No protective laws- only SWM rules mention them

2.      Rules and norms which criminalize waste-picking

3.      No identity as workers and contributing urban citizens


1.     Earning below minimum wages after working long hours

2.     Women's unpaid labour and discrimination in wages

3.     No access to worker benefits schemes or pensions

4.      No social protection in terms of education, health etc.


1.     Privatization of waste collection

2.     Restrictions to accessing waste in gated communities

3.     Restricting access to dhalaos due to private contracts or technology change

4.     Restrictions in landfill sites


1.      Caste-based occupation and discrimination

2.      Discrimination towards migrants

3.      Perceived as thieves and harassed by police and society

There is a lot of issues of Waste Pickers and Municipal Corporation and it even leads to fights between them. As the waste is smelly even and no one would like to pick up but their it's duty so they do. But people can help them and co-operate with them by cleaning the dry waste so that smell does not get more and it won't stink as it would be earlier. People see women waste pickers with different eyes. 

At the time of pandemic many have lost jobs and many lost their source of income due to which they had starvation even. Everyone feared about stepping out but they did so that waste would be out of our house.  The precautions that they have taken were wearing masks, sanitization of hands, washing hands, wearing gloves and further. 

PBVS is a federation of self-help group of women waste pickers. Appeal from people is that we are the one who make waste so do not think waste as DIRTY. The people who picks garbage are not waste or bad people. So we need to respect them and understand their importance in the society.

We should not be caste biased as at the end everyone is human and everyone has right to live freely and happily. As the women who picks waste are from Dalit Caste so we have set our mind set so we should stop this and start thinking out of our box and capability. As this garbage does not only affect us and our surrounding. It has an adversely effect on our environment. As to tackle the greenhouse gases from dumping grounds so we need to tackle the methane and methane can only be tackled when unsegregated waste just not collectively spread or stay in dumping grounds. So we need to manage locally level also about the waste.

 The three main stakeholders of waste are-: waste pickers, who produces waste and municipal party should start their tasks by own and take steps to control the waste spread all over the world and handle this issue and situation. And people who have access of money and keeps buying PPE kits, masks, gloves and sanitizers so the people who need these on regular basis are unable to access this. As it's very essential for them. We should start the change not think about the others.

In the crux of our topic we should care about waste pickers as it's hazardous for health, environment and it would less smelly as no one likes malodorous. It even empower people about the critical situations and aware the public also.