Wednesday, 15 October 2014

History of Mumbai's waste management

Work for Food with Dignity in Mumbai

Work for Food with Dignity in Mumbai

I am not a scholar, historian, expert or activist. I see history or its result or its residue in the Present, which is in flux.

In one word, it is mismanagement. Mumbai, like India, is large, too large, for Agencies to manage on borrowed models of development from the Waste, and information from text books. It is not based on the study and field work of ground realities, success and failures.

Squatters working on waste collected-1
However, I may add an important aspect that is rarely mentioned. In Mumbai's 130 million people, there are about 60 % people who are squatters and slum dwellers. They struggle, not fight, but to save their lives from being 'wasted'. They 'recycle' the inorganic waste of the city, and even organic waste in the city.

Squatters working on waste collected-2
They have a tragic history behind them of hundred years, perhaps more. They show 'life wasted’ living in subhuman conditions in the 20th & 21st centuries in one of the ancient civilized societies! They are the residue of the modern industrial development begun by the British Raj and continued by the First World India, which is a powerful minority.

Twenty years ago I thought if Mumbai recycled human excreta, it could replace five mega- factories that make chemical fertilizers, today many more with increasing population.

Squatters working on waste collected-3
Mumbai's Slums & Squatters display their faith in Indian Democracy by being Self-reliant with Dignity more than the elite.
Mumbai's more than 60% citizens are Slum dwellers & Squatter, a fall-out of The First World India's Development & Progress: What an irony!
Slums in Mumbai are self-help townships, where many skilled, semi skilled & unskilled building workers live, who built Mumbai over decades.
(06-03-2011 | Revised: 22 July 2014)

©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it a shame to see the citizens of India are languishing in the financial capital - Mumbai - in such a large number?