September 2022

38,32,50,000: Bengaluru's Happy Number

BBC Media Action released the ‘Happy Number’ song and music video, which highlights the role of Bengaluru’s informal waste pickers in the city’s circular economy. Research by Hasiru Dala estimates that informal waste pickers divert a massive amount of waste - 38,32,50,000 kilograms - from reaching landfills every year. Every single kilogram of waste that is stopped from reaching the landfills, reduces the harm done to the city’s air, water and soil. And they stop a staggering 38,32,50,000 kgs of waste every single year – the Happy Number!

The backbone of the waste management system of Bengaluru, the city’s waste pickers ensure that only non-recyclable materials end up in the landfill. The Happy Number music video gives them their space in the sun.

The song was conceived by Saamuhika Shakti partner BBC Media Action India, in collaboration with Vasu Dixit. It features actor and comedian Aiyyo Shraddha (Shraddha Jain), rapper Gubbi (Karthik S Gubbi), and a few from among the thousands of waste pickers of Bengaluru, who till now have largely remained invisible, despite their contribution to the city, its residents and its environment.


Launched at a press conference in Bengaluru on June 16, 2022, the Happy Number music video has been viewed 2.6 million times on social media. The Happy Number song was played on two private FM stations 100 times over a week and is available on Spotify and Amazon Music. The Happy Number is part of BBC Media Action’s #Invaluables campaign, which since its launch has reached an estimated 5.1 million Bengalureans.

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