Vande Mataram… At least we have the first right over something: Arun Chand, 19, Garbage Collector

While addressing a students’ convention in the Capital recently, PM Narendra Modi said people who keep the country clean have the first right to chant ‘Vande Mataram’. Chand says he is happy with the PM’s mention

Written by Abhishek Angad | Published: September 17, 2017 3:24 am
I think it is a patriotic song- Arun Chand

While addressing a students’ convention in the Capital recently, PM Narendra Modi said people who keep the country clean have the first right to chant ‘Vande Mataram’. Chand says he is happy with the PM’s mention

Since when have you been doing this job?

I stay in Kotla village in east Delhi with my mother and brother. Eight years ago, my family moved to Delhi from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh. I have been collecting garbage since then. My father passed away when I was very young and I had to start working immediately after that.

 What is a day at work like?

I wake up around 8 am and then get together with some of my friends to begin the daily door-to-door rounds. We collect garbage from at least 800 houses, including a few temples and community halls, in the Mayur Vihar Phase 1 area.

What do you do with the garbage?

After collecting the garbage, I come home. Then, my mother, brother and I sort out the waste. We sell polythene bags, cartons, objects made of plastic etc. I make Rs 2 for a kg of polythene bags. I earn Rs 10,000-15,000 a month, which is not enough to survive in Delhi.

Do you know the national song, ‘Vande Mataram’?

I don’t know its meaning. Mujhe lagta hai deshbhakti ka gaana hai (I think it is a patriotic song).
5The PM said people who keep the city clean have the first right to sing the song. Did you hear that speech?
No, I haven’t. Par ekdum sahi kaha Modiji ne… Kisi cheez par to hamara pehla haq hai (PM Modi said the right thing. At least we have the first right over something).

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