Burning plastic insulated Copper wires

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This report is about SelvaKumar, a Kabadwala. I am Tara, a grade 8 HLCite and I live in DLF Gardencity, in the south of Chennai. 200 meters from my apartment is a deserted road that I have always wondered about. So, when I had to go looking for problems around me, I thought that this was the best place to start. One Sunday evening, I headed to this place with my mom. We saw lots of garbage strewn here and there on a road that’s in a very bad state. My Mom and I had covered about 100 metres, when we saw a guy sitting at the corner of the road, burning some thing. I walked up to him and questioned him as to what he was doing. He said that he was burning wires so that their plastic insulation would melt and he could extract the copper back from the wires. Earlier, he was a driver and he was not benefitting from the pay and resorted to this even though it is illegal. If he sold only the wires, he would get Rs.100 per Kg. But, as he was burning the wire and selling the copper he would get Rs.350 per Kg. He said that he earned Rs.500 per day instead of a small salary at the end of each month, which gave him a good reason to switch jobs. He gave the copper to bigger shops who put a cleansing agent on it which made it look like it is new. Then it goes to companies, where it resells for Rs.470. The burning is illegal, but as the police understand the reasoning for doing this, they take a bribe of Rs.100 and leave.

I think, if these kind of illegal activities are not stopped soon, many other people will start doing it. Also, as I had earlier mentioned, the smoke produced is not environmental friendly. The smoke will do damage to ecosystems and people themselves.

  • Creative confidence : I should have the confidence that the problem can be solved.
  • Empathy : I need to have empathy by thinking about his needs.
  • Optimism : –
  • Make it real : Devise ways to do this in legal and environmental friendly manner.
  • Embrace ambiguity : –
  • Iterate : I have to see if it works, then repeat for other people like him.
  • Learning from failures : If it does not work, think of ways to make it better. He can be helped by getting a better pay for any job(s). He can do it in a safer manner if he had the equipment and the effort. People like him can be helped by getting a better pay for just selling the wires.