Assam election is having a debilitating impact on Okhla. Since the election process has started Jamia Nagar is faced with garbage issue as rag pickers – mostly from Assam and West Bengal – have left for their hometowns.
“There is garbage issue these days as most of the rag pickers come from West Bengal and Assam and as elections have started they have left for their cities,” said a woman, who is in-charge of getting garbage picked up from homes.
It is understood that the rag pickers made sure to visit their cities in West Bengal and Assam fearing that if they don’t participate in election then they could get into trouble as they could be marked as Bengladeshis, said a resident who spoke with one rag picker a few days ago.
Activist Jawed said: “Even when the elections had not started these rag pickers in one of an interactions with us said they would be returning back to their hometowns to make sure that their names were there on the electoral roll otherwise they would be in trouble. They shared with us their fear of being touted as Bangladeshis and being driven out of their country.”
In the absence of the rag pickers the work is being done by local women rag pickers.