Research Scholar, JRF, Department of Economics, University of Allahabad
Ragpicker is a 19th and early 20th century term for someone who made a living by rummaging through garbage in the streets to collect material for salvage. Rag pickers constitute the pool of informal economy. Since 1970’s, when the informal economy was discovered, its role in economic development has been hotly debated. While some observers see the informal economy as a source of entrepreneurial talent or a cushion during economic crises others argue that the informal entrepreneurs deliberately avoid regulation and taxation. Still others view it as a source of livelihood for the working poor and recently a new phenomenon has gained momentum advocating the significant contribution of Ragpickers, that constitute a significant section of the informal sector to sustainable development. With all the wastes we are generating and not even giving a second thought the concept of sustainable development is surely in danger. Millions of people worldwide make a living by collecting, sorting, recycling, and selling materials that someone else has thrown away. These people are commonly known as Ragpickers or waste pickers. In the light of theoretical and empirical context the present paper studies the contribution of Ragpickers to solid waste management. The study covers the Ragpickers of Baxi Bandh area, Minto Park area and Parade Ground area of Allahabad District of Uttar Pradesh.
Ragpicker, Sustainable Development, Solid waste management