Wanted: Ragpickers with good track record | india | Hindustan Times
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Wanted: Ragpickers with good track record

Skill sets will include working in extreme weathers and spotting rubbish. Job experience will surely rake up a dirty, messy past, reports Rajendra Aklekar.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2007 03:06 IST
Rajendra Aklekar

It will be an unusual resume. Skill sets will include working in extreme weathers and spotting rubbish. Job experience will surely rake up a dirty, messy past.

But that is just what the railways want from their newest job applicants. They have vacancies for ragpickers.

For the first time, the Central Railway will be engaging an agency that has been involved in the work to clear rags. The Central Railway's Mumbai division has finally formulated a comprehensive garbage disposal policy and decided to unleash an equipped ragpicker force at 31 selected railway stations and stretches of tracks after the last local for the day passes by.

The ragpickers will be assessed for collection and cleaning on a scale of 100 and will get paid only if their performance is up to the mark, according to the project document on Rag Picking and Garbage Disposal.

They will be equipped with masks, latex rubber hand-gloves, safety shoes, nylon brushes and brooms, polythene bags, dustpans and wheeled trolleys.

The project is a part of the 'Cleanliness Year: 2007' campaign declared by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav under which cleanliness has to be ensured at station complexes, on passenger trains and railway lines and in waiting rooms.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board had even issued Central Railway a showcause on garbage and sewage disposal in September 2006.

"The ragpickers are supposed to pick up plastic bottles, rags, papers, tetra packs and any other loose material lying on the tracks within 50 meters of both ends of a platform," said a senior railway official, requesting anonymity.

"They will also keep clean the garden area and halt boards and collect floating waste from the drains near the tracks. The contractor who employs the ragpickers will also be responsible for collecting garbage picked by railway safaiwallas from the platform bins."

He said the stationmaster would prepare a work report of the contractor and marks would be allotted out of 100. If one scores marks 80 pr cent or more, full payment will be made for the day, while less than 70 per cent will fetch no money at all.