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There are 30,000 conservancy workers employed by the Greater Bombay Municipal Corporation. These workers pick up our garbage, sweep our streets, clean our gutters, load and unload the garbage trucks and work on dumping grounds.

Without exception, all 30,000 of them, despise their work. Most of them are alcoholics and perpetually in debt despite getting a salary of Rs. 7,000/- per month. The men abuse their wives and children. On the death of their husbands at a relatively young age, the job passes to the widows as a "pity case". The despair continues...

is a photo study of the living hell that constitutes the life of a conservancy worker. It seeks to understand how and why an entire workforce gets so shrouded in hopelessness and despair that the workers come to despise not only their work but themselves as well.

How much do we, the citizens contribute to the dehumanization of these workers? Do we really realize that life in the city without this workforce would be a life of ill health, disease and even death

urges us to "look" and "see" the conservancy worker in a more humane and just manner.


Picture Gallery


Sweeping Bombay's Street

A Sweeper's daily chore

Gathering Waste

Manek cleans a Gali in Bombay

Urban waste cleaning

A garbage cleaner inside a drain-pipe

In the midst of waste

Bombay waste ground

A sweeper sorting waste

Garbage spilling out of a Truck

Bombay's waste groung - and what fills it

A sweeper walk home after work

A Sweeper's widow

An alcohol sweeper outside his house

Bhimabhai's plight

Inside a disputed Kholi

Domestic worker's family 1

Picture of an abused family

Inside a disputed Kholi 2

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