Akbar Nagar debris ragpickers’ delight: Sifting rubble, rummaging for iron to keep home hearths alive - Hindustan Times
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Akbar Nagar debris ragpickers’ delight: Sifting rubble, rummaging for iron to keep home hearths alive

By, Lucknow
Jun 19, 2024 05:53 PM IST

The debris has tonnes of iron items which has turned into a source of income for the ragpicker community

The erstwhile illegal constructions in Akbar Nagar may have been razed but even the rubble presents an opportunity for some.

Ragpickers on site sifting for iron from the debris in Akbar Nagar, on Wednesday (HT Photo)
Ragpickers on site sifting for iron from the debris in Akbar Nagar, on Wednesday (HT Photo)

From the site of hundreds of stories of dashed hopes and plans, also arises a new story of hope and of the daily fight to keep the kitchen at home burning.

On Wednesday, scores of ragpicker children were seen digging through the trash and debris, and some barefooted ones wandered around the piles of rubbish to find iron, and other metals.

The debris has tonnes of iron items which has turned into a source of income for the ragpicker community in the city.

After the heavy police deployment was lifted, over 60-70 ragpickers arrived by the afternoon with hammers and chisels, big gunny bags slung over their shoulders. Some even brought small carts to collect as much as they could despite the sun right on their heads.

“We have come here to collect these iron rods, as they can be sold in the market for 25-30 per kg,” said Shyam, a rag picker.

Some even came from far-off places like Faizullaganj, Sadar, Dubagga, Chinhat, and Jankipuram, among others.

“It is anyway just waste, and the government will do nothing with this, but this trash will keep our kitchen fire burning for a few days,” said Shabana, who came from Sadar Cantt to collect it with her two younger sisters.

Rahul Kashyap from Nishatganj who came with two other friends said, “We have together collected over 10 kg of iron rods. We will continue to come here until we are not stopped.”

While the majority came to collect iron, many of them also found furniture too such as old sofas, beds, chairs and other household items.

According to the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC), the debris will now be cleared from the site for the upcoming eco-tourism hub there.

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