Last week, a few members of IYCN headed down to Dharavi, India’s largest slum and the true heart of Indian recycling to participate in RESPECT RECYCLE, an incredible event organized by our friend and road tour colleague Jitin Abraham, 21 Tigers, IYCN, and Acorn Foundation. We had a chance to visit some of the recycling facilities in Dharavi, places where women were sorting through tiny pieces of electronics to sort out metal, places where all of the cardboard of the city flowed in and out, sorted by shape and size, pieces of old plastic phones sorted and melted. It was beautiful, toxic, unbelievable and heart-breaking all at once.
The event of REspect REcycle was to draw attention to the work of Bombay’s ragpickers and pay homage and respect to the work they do daily to protect our planet, our health, and our cities. Methane emissions from landfills are a serious component of India’s greenhouse gases, and improving recycling units are a bit part of the solution. Several artists of Timbaland Productions headed into Dharavi to show RESPECT to Bombay’s rag pickers and the entire recycling industry that is based out of Dharavi, by celebrating music, graffiti art and sculpture at a gym in Dharavi.
There were performances by Dharavi-based Tamil rappers, Sout Dandy Squad, Apache Indian, Amar (UK), Jim Beanz (US), Rebel (US) from Timbaland Productions, DJ Ashrafi, DJ Kedar as well as many more inspired dancers and artists. This first of its kind event was supported by the Indian Youth Climate Network and Acorn Foundation, and held at Shri Guru Dutt Gym.
Tamilian rappers Sout Dandy Squad at REspect REcycle
“From Slumdog to Slum Dancer” — above three artists pictures from Miss Malini
It was an incredible event to be dancing with children from Dharavi to music by international musicians, sharing their ideas, perspectives, and most importantly their respect.
ACORN International is a non-profit charity organization that works across 12 countries to aid marginalized sections of the population. Members of ACORN Foundation (India) have been working in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru with waste collectors, hawkers and small business owners. In Mumbai, ACORN has launched the Dharavi Project, to support the rag pickers of the area, and the recycling industry in Dharavi, where the collected garbage is recycled. To spread awareness of the role of the rag picker, many of who are children and women, ACORN has planned a multi media programme under the Waste Matters campaign that involves a documentary titled Waste by filmmaker Parasher Baruah, taking students for recycling walks to Dharavi that was organised in association with DNA Newspaper and an Art and Photography exhibition.
The Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN) is a coalition uniting Indian Youth and Indian youth oriented organizations that are concerned about climate change. Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN) aims to build a climate movement based on solutions and believes that the greatest solution is our human capacity to take action.
Children of Dharavi with Sout Dandy Squad — fresh out of school!