waste pile

Families defend their inherited rights to jobs picking over rubbish

Reuters/Ahmad Masood

“WHY is India so filthy?” asks a new book called Waste of a Nation. It wasn’t always – in the old days of rural India, almost everything was biodegradable. Animals and the weather soon dealt with it. Now garbage is everywhere: in backyards, on street corners and piled up across wasteland.


True, the country is crowded. India has almost as many people as China, living in a third of the area. “Never in history have so many people had so much to throw away, and …

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