"Cows and Waste Pickers" India Local Custom Tip by Waxbag

India Local Customs: 347 reviews and 396 photos

  Cows Munching Garbage
by Waxbag

So once the garbage makes it out on the street, it is then swept by members of the Untouchables, the lowest cast, into piles at the end of the street. And here is where you find the city?s cow populations. Grass is nowhere to be seen within miles of the city center but that doesn?t keep people from raising cattle. These bony beasts sift through the garbage all day seeking any kind of nourishment and I?m sure they choke down their share of plastic, metal, and glass to fortify their diets with the essential vitamins and minerals that every urban cow needs. Occasionally, they must compete with boars, dogs, rats, and crows but they are the big boys on the block. Once the city?s wildlife gets its fill, waste pickers come in a rummage through the piles. These people are mostly women and children from the slums that spend ten hours a day picking apart domestic and industrial waste to separate materials into bags of paper, plastic, metal, cloth, and other items. They are then bundled with twine and sold to a middleman that transports it and sells it to recycling plants. Slums with huge piles of garbage and bundled stacks to be recycled can be seen just outside the cities. These waste pickers perform a great service to the ungrateful city dwellers and earn less than $1 a day. Without their efforts India?s city would be chocked with garbage.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 17, 2005
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