Millennium Post

For Delhi's young ragpickers, garbage and waste bring much needed Diwali joy

New Delhi: During Diwali, people clean their house to welcome positivity on a festive day and throw away rags which includes waste materials made of plastic or steel.
But for the rag pickers, it turns out to be a gold which they collect and then sell to scrap dealer in order to get some money through they celebrate the festival of lights.
Talking to Millennium Post, the rag pickers stated that during the festive season they earn good money by selling these rags.
"For the residents in the Capital it might be of no use but for us, it proved to be vital as through selling them we can also celebrate the festival and able to feed the family with some sweets," said a rag picker.
One such rag picker is 17-year-old Deepanshu, a resident of Bareilly, have been picking rags from several years in central Delhi area and during the festive season, he earns around Rs 400 to 500 which he invests on celebrating the festival with the other rag pickers.
"This year I heard there will be no firecrackers so I will spend on buying sweets," said Deepanshu.
Another rag picker Kapil who have been living on the street of the Capital from several years stated that living on the street is very tough and in their life happiness come very less often and so for them rags bring smile to their faces.
"At least we can smile in Diwali. Life is tough but we are able to purchase sweets for family and friends," said Kapil.
Surendra Kumar, a counselor of street children stated that during Diwali they send a message of communal harmony as these street children celebrate the festival with their friends of different caste.
"For them caste is no bar and also if they are buying some clothes for themselves they also buy for their friends. In there life, happiness is very less. Through sharing they increase their joy," said Kumar.
Sanjay Gupta from NGO Chetna, said Diwali brings happiness among street childre.
Most of the children may get relief this year due to the ban on crackers, as they can sleep on streets safely.
"Diwali means more rag to collect. They need to spend extra time till late night. Most of the children enjoy Diwali with full enthusiasm. Behaving like adults they distribute sweet among peers," said Gupta.
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