Waste Picker Welfare Law in Karnataka

Reports by Vidhi Karnataka · February 22, 2018
Author(s): Akhileshwari Reddy and Alok Prasanna

The main aim of this report is to highlight the need for the promulgation of a Waste Picker Welfare Law in Karnataka that acknowledges waste picking as a genuine profession and grants to waste pickers the rights due to all persons engaged in a recognized profession in India.

It is estimated that waste pickers in this country recycle over 20% of the one fifty million tons of waste that is produced in India per day. However, until the promulgation of the 2016 Solid Waste Management Rules, there was no direct acknowledgement of their immense contributions to India’s solid waste management efforts and even today there is no single law that concretely recognizes their profession nor provides for their unique requirements. This non recognition of one of India’s most efficient working assets and the stigma attached to waste picking as a profession has rendered them prey to much discrimination, violence and harassment as will be highlighted in this report.

Therefore, while highlighting the plight of waste pickers in India, the Report presents a study of the state of Karnataka, which has been at the forefront of the recognition and integration of waste pickers into its solid waste management strategy and need for the creation of a Waste Picker Welfare Law in the state.


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About Akhileshwari Reddy:

Akhileshwari Reddy is a Research Fellow at Vidhi, Karnataka. Her main areas of work revolve around the protection of human rights and the environment. She graduated with a B.A., L.LB (Hons.) from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS, Kolkata) in 2016 and went on to complete her Masters in Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2017 on the Marchant Foundation Scholarship and the LSE Master's Award. She writes regularly for the Down to Earth Magazine and has written for various journals on human rights issues in India. She is an avid reader and especially enjoys reading fantasy fiction.

About Alok Prasanna:

Alok Prasanna Kumar is Senior Resident Fellow and Team Lead, Vidhi Karnataka. His areas of research include Judicial Reforms, Constitutional law, Urban Development, and Law and Technology. He graduated with a B.A. LL.B. (Hons) from the NALSAR University in 2008 and obtained the BCL from the University of Oxford in 2009. He writes a monthly column for the Economic and Political Weekly and has published in the Indian Journal of Constitutional Law and National Law School of India Review apart from media outlets such as The Hindu, Indian Express, Scroll, Quint and Caravan. He has practiced in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court from the chambers of Mr Mohan Parasaran, and currently also co-hosts the Ganatantra podcast on IVM Podcasts.