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NGO comes forward for fire-affected ragpickers

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Jun 5, 2016, 2:30 am IST
Updated : Jun 5, 2016, 2:30 am IST

To help the Deonar fire-affected ragpickers, who have been barred from scavenging the landfill, Apnalaya, a Mumbai-based NGO with support from Raddiconnect, India’s first online platform for raddi (s

To help the Deonar fire-affected ragpickers, who have been barred from scavenging the landfill, Apnalaya, a Mumbai-based NGO with support from Raddiconnect, India’s first online platform for raddi (scrap paper) collection and recycling, has come forward with helping hands.

The NGO, which was founded in 1972, has decided to provide the Deonar ragpickers’ families medical and educational help through its initiative.

Rahul Nainani from Raddiconnect, said, “After visiting Govandi a few times, few of my friends and I came across the NGO. We spoke to the CEO and project heads of Apnalaya to understand the problems faced by the people living around the area.” Mr Nainani also interacted with environmental activists, ragpickers and residents staying in the vicinity of the landfill. “We understood that the fires are common in dumping grounds. But most of these people suffer due to the smoke. Health problems like TB, asthma, deformities, malnutrition and HIV are rampant amongst the residents and they don’t even have money to spend on medicines. Since the massive fire in January, the dumping ground has been shut, which has made these waste pickers, desperate to earn money. They have no other skill to earn money either,” he added.

“So to help these people, on this World Environment Day, we’re asking the people of Mumbai to pledge to recycle their raddi , the proceeds of which will be used to fund Apnalaya’s medical clinics in Govandi to help betterment of Deonar residents,” said Mr Nainani.

He further added that the offer was open to individuals or corporates in Mumbai. “They can pledge to recycle at least 10 kilograms of scrap, which we will pick up from their addresses for free between June 1 and June 5. The proceeds from all the paper collected will be used for Apnalaya’s daycare centres at Deonar,” he explained.