Kachra kundis can be found on many roads with such exquisite smell that the passersby would like to soak themselves into that smell. It all starts with one shopper or plastic bag. If one of us throws something anywhere on the streets, then the others would follow our footsteps too thinking yahan phenk dete hain. Fines and penalties could do the trick to stop this but then again, do the authorities really care?
The present situation of management of garbage and debris in the heart of the city is not up to the mark yet. Excluding the upscale areas of the metropolis, lumps of garbage and waste are not properly handled by the authorities.
Most of the residents of some middle class areas have an issue with the waste management. The garbage pickers from houses are not punctual leaving the daily waste of households within the houses for a number of days. Stray cats and flies often then try to look for their food in dustbins and plastic bags inside these houses.
Compared to the porch areas of the city where the house owners are more capable financially, garbage is managed efficiently. But not at all can it be compared to the other Western countries where there are proper and hygienic ways to manage and recycle the waste.
Coming back to the less looked after areas, the residents of these often get nightmares when it comes to disposing off waste sometimes.
Moreover, if people from developed countries like the United States of America see what is going on in Pakistan related to garbage management, they go bonkers. This is because most of the garbage workers over here are CHILDREN! Children around the age of 12-17 go to each house and pick up the garbage from the houses in tokris (bags).
On my personal interaction with an underage garbage picker, he was willing to play with other children and attend schools. Don’t they deserve to go to schools and colleges? All right they earn a lot (as one of the elder of them told me) but is this what they will always do?
The elder or ‘managers’ of these children who should be going to school come on donkey carts and scatter away the lil ones to different houses to pick up the garbage from these houses. But this is not the case every day. This happens once a week or maybe twice.
So we have two basic problems as of now. Poor waste management and child labour. Well, to eradicate child labour, it is a humungous job especially in a country like Pakistan. But waste management can be done effectively if the authorities are WILLING to do so.
There should be supervisors looking after whatever is happening related to waste management. Something which is not happening at least in some neighborhoods. When the supervisors will be standing on the heads of these workers then something can happen.
Ignoring the salaries of these waste pickers can also do the trick. That’s something they are working for too so this can cause them to visit our houses everyday not for a cup of tea but take those used teabags away.