The Happy number song highlights the role of Bengaluru’s 22,500 informal waste pickers in the city’s circular economy. Every year, they prevent a massive amount of waste, 383,250,000 kilograms (equivalent to the weight of 95,000 elephants!), from ending up in landfills by picking up, cleaning, sorting and segregating recyclable waste and selling it further up the value chain.
The waste pickers are a vital part of the waste management system in Bengaluru; they contribute both environmentally and economically to the society. Still, they rank among the lowest in the social hierarchy, live in poverty, suffer harassment, and have limited access to social protection systems.
“We see our #InvaluableRecyclers as silent environmentalists. They are the first link in the waste recycling value chain. This song celebrates the invaluable service they provide to the city and is a tribute to them.”Soma Katiyar, Executive Creative Director, BBC Media Action India
As part of our holistic initiative Saamuhika Shakti, our partner BBC Media Action drives a perception change program to improve professional pride among waste pickers and encourage Bengaluru’s general population to respect and value waste picking. The aim is to shift the way the population think about where their waste goes, and that waste – and waste pickers – are valuable in India’s circular economy.
30% of Bengaluru’s population has been reached with messages aiming to shift perceptions about waste picking and informal waste pickers.
The song has already been played 1.5 million times, featuring a few of Bengaluru’s informal waste pickers, together with Indian musician Vasu Dixit, rapper Karthik S Gubbi and actor-comedian Shraddha Jain. Including BBC Media Action’s campaign Invaluables, 30% of Bengaluru’s population has been reached with messages aiming to shift perceptions about waste picking and informal waste pickers.