The reason why these boys are collecting garbage is beautiful


Jammu and Kashmir News

Citizen Journalist Report By Rafiq Ahmad

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Four kids from a rather perished area of Jammu city, are going out of their way to celebrate Eid.

Belonging to poor households, Mohammed Usmaan, Yaseem Akhtar, Mohammed Jabu and Aalam Gir, all twelve years old, have put in all their efforts in order to keep their shoulder to the wheel. All of them live in the Narwal Colony area and study at the local Madrassa.

Originally, their families hail from West Bengal, but since last many years they have been living in the state. Working as helpers and part-time laborers, their parents find it really hard to keep it up to the two meals in a day. In such financial crises, celebrating a feast is a distant dream.
The kids on the other hand, are on a 10-day vacation these days, and are making sure to make each day count. They have involved themselves with rag-picking in their vicinity in order earn some so that they have a chance at celebrating, let alone feel good on the auspicious occasion of Eid which falls after the holy month of Ramadan.

Its a common sight, seeing little kids near large areas of dumped waste.  Rag pickers are involved in recycling activities for instance, picking up empty plastic bottles, paper, even hazardous materials like disposable batteries or materials with chemicals. Rag pickers pick trash door to door, or are potentially street children picking waste off the road or even whole family units that just live by sifting through garbage. usually, they fend for recyclable materials e.g. glass, metal  & plastic and sell these to scrap dealers.

These little fellows earn about 70 to 100 rupees daily, and working for ten days straight lands them with as much as Thousand bucks. This calls for a treat!

For some, a festival is all about good food, new pair of clothes, expensive gifts and the list goes on and on. But these kids, few hours of joy is a result of hours rather days of hard work and sweat altogether.
The problem just doesn’t end here, according to a report by UNICEF, about 12% children in India aged 5-14 are engaged in child labour activities, including Rag Picking. These are things we know and yet choose to ignore on a daily basis.