Anderson and his sisters Stella, Mary and Shamla run this dry waste collection center (DWCC). Stella is a young lady wearing oversized pants and a t-shirt she found in the trash. Mary is the eldest sister and clearly the one calling the shots as she overtakes everyone and answers all our questions herself, not letting the others speak. Shamla is a fragile young lady who doesn’t speak much. Anderson is a tall, well-built man with a mustache, wearing denims and a white shirt. He is the elder brother to the three sisters.
Najibul is a short man from West Bengal, speaking broken Hindi as he tries and answers our questions. He is wearing a grey t-shirt with black full sleeves, again something he found in the trash. He manages the DWCC in absence of the operator.
Viramma is a 70 something years old lady, wearing an oversized shirt that she found in the trash over her saree to protect the saree from the trash. She is sitting on the floor, sorting dry waste using her bare hands.
Gautam is a first-year college student, pursuing his bachelor’s in computer application. He is wearing a red Manchester United jersey and black shorts. He comes to the center at 6:30 in the morning, collects waste from door to door, finishes his shift at 10:00 am and then goes to college.
Sagaimeli is a lean lady, in her late 50’s, with a very radiant and powerful personality. She runs the DWCC. When asked about the facilities she wants at DWCC, she says she wants a bathroom where she can shower before heading home as people do not sit next to her on the bus because she smells of trash.
Mansoor is a young, passionate man with long hair, who wears a hairband to keep it in place. He has been to the Paris Climate Conference to give a talk on waste segregation. He also went door to door explaining to people how to segregate their waste. His dad was a scrap dealer, he is a dry waste collector and he wants his kids to pursue the same profession. But he says that it will be unfair to ask them to do this work, as they are educated. But at the same time, he believes that the only way to change the inefficient system is to have more educated people working in the waste management sector.
Every day we meet new interesting people as we go around Bangalore, visiting the DWCCs.
I just wanted to share some of the stories with you all.