BBC Media Action, musician Vasu Dixit join hands to launch second phase of 'Invaluables' initiative
BBC's international development charity BBC Media Action on Thursday launched the second phase of its 'Invaluables' initiative, aimed at highlighting the role and contribution of informal waste pickers in Bengaluru.
According to the social impact organisation Hasiru Dala, which works with waste pickers and other informal waste workers in the city, these workers divert a staggering 3,83,250 tonnes of waste from reaching landfills by collecting and recycling plastic and other recyclables.
The charity has collaborated with musician Vasu Dixit to release a song titled, 'Happy Number', highlighting the contribution of the city's waste pickers. It was released on Thursday by the BBC Media Action group, along with its partners in the city.
The event saw the presence of environmentalist Vani Murthy, Hasiru Dala co-founder Nalini Shekar, and representatives of the informal waste picker community.
Vasu Dixit and his team including rapper Karthik S Gubbi at the launch of the second phase of the Invaluables initiative. Vasu Dixit released a song titled 'Happy Number' that highlighted the contribution of the city's informal waste picker community.
Soma Katiyar, Executive Creative Director, BBC Media Action, said, "Thanks to the pandemic, numbers have been scary, harbingers of the worst possible news. But here's a 'happy number' that we need to know about and celebrate — an estimated 38,32,50,000 kilograms of waste has been stopped from being added to the already overflowing landfills, thanks to the efforts of the informal waste pickers. We see them as silent environmentalists."
Musician Vasu Dixit said, "As citizens, we have a responsibility towards the informal waste pickers of Bengaluru. To treat them with respect and the dignity they deserve for protecting our environment. The Happy Number song was a great opportunity for me to celebrate them and their work."
Environmentalist Vani Murthy said, "Informal waste pickers play a vital role in collecting and recycling plastic and PET waste generated in the city. If we take simple actions, like washing plastic food containers before discarding them as waste, this not only keeps the plastic fit for recycling, but also makes the lives of waste pickers easier and protects them from the risk of contamination from rotting food or waste."
BBC Media Action team, Vani Murthy, Nalini Shekar, Vasu Dixit and others with Indira, a member of the informal waste picker community, and Mansoor Gous (third from right), who runs a Dry Waste Collection Center.
Speaking on the initiative's impact, Indira, a waste picker, said, "I have been picking waste for 25 years since I was 10 years old. People used to shoo me off and look at me as a threat. But ever since this campaign took off, many people are aware of the impact of the work we do. They would never let me enter a venue like this before, but thanks to such campaigns, I have a voice, and I am recognised. And now there's a song written about our work and community, it makes me happy."