BBC Media Action has recently launched their social experiment titled ‘Invaluable’, a communication initiative developed to shift the people’s perception about the process of waste picking and the informal waste pickers in and around the city of Bengaluru.
This initiative focuses to enshroud the invisibility that masks the informal waste pickers, through this the contributions made by the waste pickers to the city would become more visible to the general public living there. This programme is a part of the H&M Foundation, which is funded by the Saamuhika Shakti Collective Impact. This initiative is developed to improve the lives of various informal waste pickers in Bengaluru.
Bengaluru is the capital city of one of the southern states of India, Karnataka. It is a home for more than 22,500 waste pickers. As per the studies conducted, Bengaluru generates around 5757 metric tonnes of solid waste each day. Through the initiative of Invaluable BBC Media Action plans to showcase the journey of an unskilled waste picker to one who contributes a lot to the society and environment.
Invaluable is a social experiment done through a Facebook community ‘Invaluables’ to connect with people which is moderated by Actress Radhika Narayan with diverse Bengaluru residents. It probes on the message of friendship and its value. This experiment tries to invoke a realization and to have a conversation about waste pickers.
The #Invaluables focuses on the ‘humans behind the waste’. They also try to establish a connection between the general public and that of waste pickers, aims on the values that they bring together as humans, professionals, and fellow human beings of the same city. Many eminent residents supported this initiative such as Anuja Chauhan, Robin Uthappa, Shradha Jain.
This programme will be linked through the Facebook group where people join, share their views, discusses, such a space creates a real opportunity to interact with diverse people on this topic. This was an outcome of the research conducted by the BBC Media Action team, result showed a great level of stigma against these informal waste pickers. It showed that people have a very negative perception about these informal waste pickers due to various reasons such as their appearance, limited interactions and acceptance in the society. Studies also showed that women waste pickers were so vulnerable, faced abuse and violence from men.