A group of ragpickers residing at Pachanady colony have accused corporators and MLAs of turning a deaf ear to their grievances.
As many as over 10 families, who everyday pick scrap and rags, spend their lives living in tents. The community alleged that neither government officials nor ministers visited their colony to address their problem. Reportedly, for several years now, the people in the colony have been facing water problems, housing challenges among many others.
One of the colony residents, Janaki said, “We have been denied all the facilities available from the government. Neither the corporator nor MLA visited our colony to solve our problems. We feel completely neglected. We earn by collecting scrap. Amid this lockdown, we have not even received proper ration. Recently, one packet of buns was provided to us. We have also been facing water problems since the authorities have disconnected water connection. However, when corporators seek votes, they visit us and promise to fulfill all our demands. Unfortunately, once the elections are done, they do not even bother about us.”
Another resident Yashoda said, “Some organisations have provided us with food kits and other products, but we have not received any aid from the corporator.”
Corporator Sangeetha R Nayak said, “A renowned bakery from our ward has assured to provide buns after we give them the required ingredients. They have agreed to bake it for free and we will later distribute them to the underprivileged in my ward. Plastic for Change India Foundation has given food kits which have 15 kg rice and other essentials like dal, sugar, tea powder, soap, oil, sambar powder, sanitary napkins and many other products. Meanwhile, the organisation Hasiru Dala, which works to provide a better life for ragpickers has provided 25 kg rice.
“While the allegation of disconnecting water connection is false, I have received complaints from the civic workers residing on the other side of the colony. When inspection was conducted, I found that the rag-picking workers had taken water connection from the main pipeline. Following this, we took action and stopped the water supply,” said Nayak.