Create a Covid-19 relief package for informal waste pickers of Delhi

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Ensure the thousands of informal waste pickers of Delhi receive the same aid from the Government that so many other informal workers are receiving.

As one of Delhi’s 45,000 waste pickers, I spend each day of the lockdown collecting waste, often at great risk to myself, so that your houses remain clean and waste free. During the Delhi lockdown, I don’t have access to the sources of income that I usually do. My community and I need your support: with one click of a button, you
can help provide my family with a living wage during COVID-19.

Delhi is reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic right now. While each of us is impacted, some Delhites are more impacted than others. 80% of the city’s workforce is made up of the informal sector, and we are the ones who make this city run: selling food, building homes, caring for children, collecting and recycling waste and keeping Delhi clean. The UN has said that waste management is an essential service in the time of COVID, and we will continue to work with all Delhiites during the lockdown.

The Delhi government is already providing support for some of these people, and we are grateful for this. Recently, the government announced that it would be providing Rs. 5000 to each construction worker, and each auto or taxi driver. We urge the government that each informal waste picker be given the same amount of Rs. 5000.

Almost 90% of Delhi’s waste is collected by a koorawala, and in the time of COVID-19, these services are more essential than ever. However, we are no longer able to sell the dry waste we collect during the lockdown. How is it that we are still performing essential services for the city, but struggling to earn a living wage? Why has the Delhi Government overlooked our work? We keep this city clean, and keep Delhi’s waste cycle sustainable; we keep the streets waste-free, and the skies clear of pollution from burning garbage and ensure that Delhi is disease-free..

During this lockdown, while some of us continue to collect household waste and sort through medical waste at great risk to ourselves, most of us spend our days without work and wages. Help me address this injustice to the waste picker community! Sign my petition to ensure the thousands of informal waste pickers of Delhi receive the same aid from the Government that so many other informal workers are receiving. As Dilliwallahs, it's your moral imperative that the Delhi Government pay attention to our community of silent environmentalists of our city and do the following:

1. Give Rs. 5000 to every informal waste picker family. In those families where more than one member is a waste picker, the amount can still be frozen at Rs. 5000
2. Appeal to all RWAs, campuses and institutes to offer dry rations, soaps, masks and other help to waste pickers.