ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

PuneSubscribe to Pune

Waste Pickers and the ‘Right to Waste’ in an Indian City

Waste belongs to households and then to the municipality once it enters the public collection/disposal system. What does this mean for informal waste pickers? Despite their numbers and importance, they lack a “right to waste” and are vulnerable to processes of accumulation. This paper presents the counter-narrative of Solid Waste Collection and Handling, India’s first wholly self-owned cooperative of waste pickers, which has been contracted by the Pune Municipal Corporation for door-to-door waste collection. The initiative legitimises a “right to waste” for waste pickers by allowing them direct access to waste from households, and has reconceptualised waste and work for waste pickers, while altering their engagement with other stakeholders.

How Demonetisation Affected Informal Labour

​ The impact of demonetisation on the informal economy in India went far beyond cash shortages. This article examines the informal waste chains in the Pune Metropolitan Region, and outlines the tussles that emerged between informal labour and informal capital in the days following demonetisation. The resulting loss of trust in transactions continued to linger long after the cash shortages had eased. It diverted some of the backlash of the informal, urban poor from the government towards the more immediate nemesis—informal capital—which saw an opportunity of accumulation in the mayhem of demonetisation

Scavenging for the State

A study of sewage workers and toilet cleaners employed with the Pune Municipal Corporation shows how solid waste management is narrowly focused on dry latrine cleaning. One needs to urgently reform solid waste management system and improve the working conditions of people who are employed in cleaning our cities.

Medical University:Failure and Opportunity

With the recent announcement delinking medical colleges from the newly-founded Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), an ill-planned exercise plagued by petty politics has come to a costly end. But this might just be the opportunity to create relevant training and educational resources for village/slum level health care through the MUHS and bring about a radical change in the health sector.
Back to Top