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12-year-old 'Rag Picker' Buried at Ahmedabad's Garbage Dump Found Dead Week Later

Image credits: AFP.

Image credits: AFP.

Neha Vasava was scavenging at the biggest garbage dump in Ahmedabad, Gujarat state, last Saturday when a huge wall of garbage collapsed on her and a seven-year-old boy who was with her.

Indian rescuers on Saturday found the body of a 12-year-old "rag picker" under a mountain of trash which collapsed on her last week. Neha Vasava was scavenging at the biggest garbage dump in Ahmedabad, Gujarat state, last Saturday when a huge wall of garbage collapsed on her and a seven-year-old boy who was with her.

The boy was saved by the locals and other so-called ragpickers, as his head was still visible.

An estimated four million Indians -- many of them children -- work in filthy, dangerous conditions, sifting through trash for metal and other materials to sell.

"We have found the body of the 12-year-old girl," a fire department official told AFP.

The official said the decomposed body had been sent for a postmortem to ascertain the cause of death.

Rescuers had faced difficult conditions during the search, with packs of roaming feral dogs and tonnes of suffocating garbage.

The Ahmedabad dump, which receives about 3,500 tonnes of garbage a day from the city of 5.6 million people, is home to several hundred impoverished families who work as rag pickers.

According to UNICEF, well over 41 million children aged under 12 are forced to work in South Asia.

India's coronavirus lockdown is thought to have pushed more children into work after their parents fell into poverty, experts say.


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