June 2022

A day in a vibrant waste pickers’ colony

A large community spread across five acres, the waste pickers in Kundalahalli live in homes made with tin sheets for walls and tarpaulin sheets as roofs. Each house pays a monthly rent of Rs 2,600, which includes water once a week and electricity once it gets dark.

The houses are separated by narrow pathways, which when not flooded by rainwater, double up as space to store water, dry clothes, grow plants and socialise. With no drains built-in, the men of the community dig shallow soak pits in front of their homes for kitchen water.

The community has a favourite shop, stocked with goodies. And a community doctor they trust.

In some exciting news, a new chaat corner has been opened by a couple following support and training from Saamuhika Shakti partner CARE India. It’s all hands on deck for this family of six, with the kids cleaning and cutting the veggies for their parents who make around 100 plates of chaat a day.

Join Saamuhika Shakti photographer Vinod Sebastian, as he takes us on a visual tour of this vibrant community.

The narrow pathways between the rows of houses are used to store water, dry clothes, grow plants and socialize.
Savitri Maji, who worked with CARE India to start a chaat business, stands in front of her home.
Abhijith Maji, Savitri's husband, carries drinking water from a nearby RO filter. He will use this later in the day as he gets down to making the chaat dishes with his family.
These men are digging shallow soak pits in front of their homes for the wash water from the kitchen to flow into.
The community doctor in his clinic that is equipped with basic facilities and medicines.
One of three shops in the community - and the people's favourite - packed with essentials and goodies.
Playtime amid chores.
It's all hands on deck for Savitri's family as they sit down to clean and cut the vegetables and prepare the chaat dishes they will sell later that day.
Opening shop with a prayer.
And business begins. The couple manages to sell about 100 plates a day.
So yum, Vinod couldn't resist trying the bhel puri.

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