June 20, 2024
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Paving a future of dignity, respect and recognition for Lahore’s sanitary workers

“Sanitary workers tirelessly cleaning Lahore, ensuring our beloved city remains beautiful and healthy." Picture credits (Ahmed Raza Asad), Beaconhouse National University


By Ahmed Raza Asad


Lahore Waste and Management Company (LWMC) which is responsible for picking up and managing the trash, often its workers who are affiliated with sanitation are neglected and not respected due to their work which is handling the trash. So we have to teach the younger generation to respect every occupation and recognize them because if these people don’t do such jobs who is going to clean our city?


“Sanitary workers tirelessly cleaning Lahore, ensuring our beloved city remains beautiful and healthy.”

Picture credits ( Ahmed Raza Asad ), Beaconhouse National University


On interviewing many sanitary workers whether they are from the organized group LWMC or the trash pickers (jamadar ), they had horrible stories to speak about, but our main focus was on the most common problem that they all face which is not getting respect in the society whether it maybe any name calling (choora), etc or people like us making their work more harder by throwing trash on the streets or in front of their homes but not throwing in the bin.

In the interviews “every one of the workers just appealed to gain respect and aware people to throw trash in right way at right places”. As an educated society what we have learned about throwing trash on the streets? This is not any minor issue that we dig into by talking to these people. Our society needs to be educated, especially the younger generation needs to be targeted; the teachers in schools, and parents should be guided and aware of the respect for every individual and their occupation without any discrimination. So how can we make a change? We shouldn’t call up on these people; respect them, and appreciate their work.

The other major issue they face is the low wage. In this era of inflation, they have to do multiple jobs to survive in the society. We should raise voices not only for the sanitary workers but for other such jobs too. The minimum wage in Pakistan is 32000 PKR, which is not enough if you have a family and you want to provide for them. Look around for the people who do such odd jobs and try to make their living easier. If you have jamadar who picks up your trash and waste you can help him by donating your clothes or other things which are no longer of your use.

If people in your community support cleaning workers, they will be more likely to be appreciated and recognized. People in the area can help by being kind and respectful to workers, knowing the problems they face, and standing up for their rights. People who work in sanitation can help plan projects for the community, which gives them a say in choices that could affect their jobs and ways of making a living. A group attempt to make things better. People who live in Lahore need to make sure that no one gets left behind as the city changes.


About Author

The writer is a student of journalism at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.