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Project May 9, 2023

Tracking India's Waste From the Uber-Rich to Dalit Children

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India does not have a proper waste management system. The country's waste management system rests upon unorganized and historically marginalized communities, Dalits and Adivasis, forced into professions considered unclean and menial by a rigid caste system. India produces 277.1 million tons of solid waste every year and is likely to reach 387.8 million tons by 2030.

There are somewhere between 1.5 million to 4 million waste-pickers, most of whom are Dalits and Adivasis, responsible for sorting 70-80% of India's waste. Many are children. Save The Children found that of 51,000 children on the street, at least 20% are engaged in waste-picking.

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