'How much for a bag of used SYRINGES?' Women and children wade through tons of toxic trash before selling scraps to Delhi dealers
- Junkyards where children sift through medical waste are located in the middle of the national Capital
- India Today’s investigative crew discovered how tons of biomedical waste is hauled to a huge grey market
- The plastic is then segregated and sold to PVC factories in the neighbourhood for recycling
- This appalling business thrives on weak regulations, massive corruption and chronic poverty of their workers
- See more news from India at www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome
18:12 EST, 18 October 2016
18:12 EST, 18 October 2016
A toddler walks barefoot few metres away on the same ground littered with piles of used syringes, catheters and discarded gloves.
An India Today investigation has found how tons of biomedical waste, largely from the country’s private hospitals, is hauled to a huge grey market where children and women sort the potentially hazardous scrap for recycling factories.
An India Today investigation has found how tons of biomedical waste from the country’s private hospitals is hauled to a market where children and women pick through the scraps
But such junkyards are not located in remote regions. India Today’s undercover reporters found them operational right in the middle of the national Capital.
At Mundka, a hub of plastic factories in West Delhi, several scrap dealers were found to be trading in hospital waste.
Those junkyards, India Today’s investigative crew discovered, employed the worst form of child and adult labour and exposed children to the worst kind of environmental, health and life threats.
This appalling business, the reporters found, thrived on weak regulations, massive corruption and chronic poverty of their workers.
Impoverished mothers and their children were seen risking serious infections as they tore needles apart from used syringes for a meagre livelihood.
The plastic they segregated in the sprawling yards of Mundka is transported to PVC factories in the neighbourhood for recycling.
“How much money do you get?” asked an India Today journalist.
“It’s Rs 3 a kilo,” answered a woman worker, sitting around heaps of medical waste. “How much can you segregate in a day?” the reporter asked.
“It all depends on how much my hands can,” she replied. With every piece she sorted, few paisas increased.
Impoverished mothers and their children were seen risking serious infections as they tore needles apart from used syringe for a meagre livelihood.
But so does her vulnerability to diseases.
A scrap-dealer explained what drove their toxic trade. “It’s obviously bribes,” he said.
“People started doing it clandestinely by paying Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 in bribes (to police),” the dealer added.
In another scrap warehouse in the area, odour from medical waste filled the air when India Today’s investigative team posing as buyers arrived.
Syringes, medical tubes, blood and urine bags and hospital drips were all scattered on its uneven floors.
In the jargon of this shady industry, bio-medical waste is called PP or polypropylene.
“How much for it,” inquired an undercover reporter about a used product.
“See it freely. It’s all natural (biomedical) plastic,” replied the dealer.
Each hospital in India generates 1-2 kilos of biomedical waste a day, official figures show. And every clinic produces 600 gram of it daily.
As much as 15 per cent of these disposables can be infectious or hazardous, authorities admit.
Each hospital in India generates 1-2 kilos of biomedical waste a day and every clinic produces 600 grams of it daily
On paper, stringent rules regulate biomedical waste. Hospitals are required to collect, segregate and pack it in colour-coded bags and send it to designated treatment facilities.
But India Today’s special team found several private healthcare facilities were willing to sell their medical waste to unscrupulous factories for recycling.
The owner of Yamuna Vihar’s Mohan Nursing Home, Dr Jyotsna Mohan, readily agreed to peddle her hospital waste to the reporters posing as underhanded traders.
“We would like to buy it. I actually have a plastic manufacturing unit,” said an India Today journalist.
“Ok. What are the rates?” Mohan asked. “Our rates are like this – Rs 20 to Rs 22 a kilo for syringes and Rs 25 a kilo for plastic bottles,” answered the undercover reporter.
At Dharamshila Hospital in Delhi’s Vasundhra Enclave, its store-keeper, Vishnu Pandey, advised India Today’s undercover reporters meet his immediate boss for the deal.
Delhi has a trash problem with landfill sights full to the brim with festering garbage (file pic)
“We want used glucose bottles and syringes, whatever,” explained the journalist.
“We’ll buy everything that we require,” he continued.
“That will be done. Lots of shady things are going on in biomedical stuff. All that system will be organised,” Prakash remarked.
India Today’s investigation also discovered how some hospitals disposed of their waste recklessly, like ordinary garbage.
Dr Sabir of the Sabir Nursing Home in Okhla told the special crew he would give it to sweepers. “Why worry about petty things? We give it to them (sweepers).
“Do you understand my point? Packing them in bags will occupy a lot of space,” he argued.
<div> </div> <div data-track-module="am-external-links^external-links">
<!-- NOTE: WARNING: render-partial is a function --> <p><strong><a href="https://blockads.fivefilters.org/">Let's block ads!</a></strong> <a href="https://github.com/fivefilters/block-ads/wiki/There-are-no-acceptable-ads">(Why?)</a>