When everyone was busy bursting crackers to mark Diwali celebrations on Friday night,women rag pickers were busy collecting empty card board boxes and the remains of burst crackers. Least bothered about the celebrations,it was time for them to work hard,doing which some even got minor burn injuries.
Leelawati,a middle aged rag picker woman from Sisodiya,Rajsthan,said,I collected two huge bags in just two hours and hope to collect many more by morning. I keep waiting for this festival throughout the year.
Anantra and Malti received hand injuries while picking up the remains of crackers,They said,It is a part and parcel of our lives. Sometimes glass cuts our hands and sometimes fires burn our hands. But we cannot afford to sit idle at home,specially on Diwali day when people throw away many card board boxes as well as papers on roadsides.
A group of well deck-up women being led by an elderly Shabbo said,We hope to earn about Rs 800-1,000 on Sunday by selling the rags. This festival is really a good one for giving us livelihood for at least a week.
Rajesh sharma,a resident of Urban Estate,Dugri,said,This way these women rag-pickers also help clean up the city.
Meanwhile,the city hospitals received more than 50 patients with burn injuries. The patients received injuries in the eyes,hands,face etc. Dr Sanjeev Uppal,Head of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Department of DMCH said,We received 26 patients with burn injuries. Out of these,three were seriously injured and have been admitted while remaining 23 were sent back after dressing.