Hyderabad: GHMC’s garbage collectors demand insurance cover

Hyderabad: People working as garbage collectors within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits have demanded that they be allotted the Employees State Insurance Scheme cover along with a redressal system to safeguard themselves from harassment.

These trash collectors have emphasized their difficulties and articulated their living and working conditions while seeking better treatment at the hands of GHMC supervisors as well as residents.

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Garbage collectors, under the umbrella of Hyderabad Garbage Collectors’ Collective (HyGCC), stated, “Owing to the nature of work and our caste backgrounds, we are at the receiving end of much discrimination, especially from communities we collect garbage from.”

Indiramma, a garbage collector, and a mother of three underscored how supervisors and residents speak to her curtly when she was unable for garbage collection due to family emergencies.

“I start working at 6 am and finish at 1 pm and if I am unable to go to work, they make me stand and ask me if I want to work or not. When my vehicle stops, people complain that water is leaking from it (due to wet waste being carried),” the woman was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

While another garbage collector highlighted the issue of vehicle repair and sought that raising funds for the restoration works is nothing less than a challenge for them and that an insurance cover for the vehicle can rule out the difficulty.

HyGCC, in their press release, said “GHMC allots around 600 houses and commercial establishments and provides subsidised vehicles known as Swachh auto tipper for garbage transportation.”

Other demands include insurance for the garbage vehicles, fixing of a minimum of Rs 100 per month per house and a system to ensure payments are regular.

They also demanded official recognition of their identity stating, “garbage collectors be recognised as essential workers.”