Ragpickers in Kathamandu earn more than top civil servants (gazetted first class officers) in Nepal, according to study by the Centre for Integral Urban Development (CIUD).
Presenting a study report about the scavengers conducted in 20 places of Kathmandu Metropolitan and Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, the CIUD said the professional pickers make more than Rs. 21,000 (US$ 275) per month.
According to the report, one picker collects more than a hundred kg of trash including rags, plastic wares and scrap per day. These items are sold for Rs. 7 (9 US dollar cents) per kg on average, which makes more than seven hundred per day, amounting to Rs. 21,000 (US$ 275) monthly.
“Their earning is enough to manage the quality life but they don’t use it for their good and neither have the saving habit,” said Brinda Shrestha, one of the researchers. “They spend most of the income on alcohol and entertainment.”
More than 70 percent of the pickers are from indigenous communities, and around 12 percent pickers are Indian nationals. Some 60 percent are 16 to 35 years old, and 77 per cent are illiterate.
Source: eKantipur, 04 Jul 2010