The children of waste pickers have swept away the odds and cleared the Class 12 Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) examination conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE).
Commerce students Prajwala Raju Ohol from Anandnagar scored 77 per cent, Disha Bachute from Chakan 75.33 per cent and Kajal Ghode from Hadapsar secured 68 per cent. In the Arts category, Balaji Shinde of Warje scored 69.33 per cent, according to the trade union Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP).
KKPKP, a trade union formed by waste-pickers, itinerant waste buyers, waste collectors and other informal recyclers in 1993, has 8,000 members.
“Their achievements not only reflect their indomitable spirit but also signify the fulfilment of a long-held vision of the trade union — a world where no child enters waste picking and instead pursue careers of their choice,” said KKPKP in a statement.
According to the trade union, many students come from single mother families and live in cramped slums. With limited access to competitive coaching classes and a lack of resources, their determination and perseverance propel them to overcome obstacles and shine in exams. By supporting the children of members through advocacy, awareness campaigns, and targeted interventions, the union helps the young minds realise their dreams.