Long­ing for the fresh air

Views from Srinagar

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR -

hard way, and we should pay it. The rag pick­ers risk their lives for a job that is at best called scav­eng­ing. It is true that the pick­ers do not have much of a choice, but does it change the fact that they help in cleans­ing of the city.

There is a warn­ing is­sued by State Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board that the rag pick­ers can get in­fected with fa­tal dis­eases as get ex­posed to the ma­te­ri­als and wastes from hos­pi­tals that lie scat­tered around in the city. SPCB be­lieves the pick­ers may get in­fected by used sy­ringes of hos­pi­tals which can prove fa­tal for them.

Th­ese rag pick­ers driven by ab­so­lute poverty come to Kash­mir, es­pe­cially dur­ing the summers, and do a great job to keep the city clean and also pro­vide fig-leaf cred­i­bil­ity to the claims of SMC that they are keeping the city clean. They are not the heroes of any story-writer as they live and die near th­ese garbage dumps, and they live very near to them in or­der to sur­vive. But for us their work is com­mend­able though their con­tri­bu­tion goes un­no­ticed and we must pay salute to their work by virtue of which we re­main at dis­tance from the deadly dis­eases which can make the sum­mer a whole lot uglier. While I was mak­ing my mind to write on th­ese rag pick­ers and their con­tri­bu­tion to keep the city clean, I found a news re­port in a lo­cal news­pa­per about the stu­dents of Govern­ment Higher Sec­ondary School of Nar­bal

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