Pimpri Chinchwad: Children Of Waste Collectors Felicitated For Completing Class 10, 12 And Graduation

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Kalewadi, 19th March 2021: 30 students of waste collectors in Pimpri-Chinchwad were felicitated today by Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) for completing Class 10, Class 12 and graduation this year.

The program, called ‘Jyoti Savitri Chi Lek’ was held at Bhoir Lawns, PCMC. KKPKP is a trade union of waste collectors who collect and sort waste from our doors, streets, community bins and other public places in the cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. It was registered in 1993 with the objective of ensuring a life of dignity for waste collectors and their children.

Many of the students who were felicitated are first-generation learners and graduates in their families. They have battled severe resource limitations such as decrepit homes, lack of regular electricity, water supply and means to buy mobile phones and laptops. Two of the students – Ganesh Narsappa Sampange from Class 10 and Pradnya Santosh Kamble from Class 12 – scored more than 75 per cent.

PCMC Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil who was to grace the felicitation programme as the chief guest acknowledged the grit and determination of the waste pickers in securing a better life for their future generation by sharing a video message in the program. He felicitated Seema Jadhav and Komal Borade (who cleared graduation and standard 12th exams respectively) in his office and gifted them with a copy of his autobiography-‘tai mi collector vhaynu’-to them. He was unable to make it to the event due to urgent commitments with respect to Covid.

“You all have faced multiple hardships but always remember that in the examination no one asks our family background. So I wish you the strength and support to overcome all obstacles in life and from my personal experience, I am a firm believer that education can and has changed lives for good”, said the Commissioner in a video message.

Students spoke about their personal journeys and conveyed gratitude to their parents for constant encouragement.

Pradnya Lavhe who cleared her class 12th exams, said, “I feel proud of my mother and her work. I want to complete higher education and be financially independent”.

Rukmini Dethe, a waste picker who provides for the education of her grandchildren, said, “I want my children to study because we could not and no one better than us can realise the importance of education”