On March 24, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, announced a 21-day lockdown across India to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The very next day, recognizing that the lockdown would break the food supply chain, the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad, India, announced an innovative initiative called “Vegetables on Wheels” to deliver fresh vegetables and milk to curfew wards of the city by e-rickshaws (electric 3-wheel rickshaws).
The world’s garbage workers are on the frontlines of the pandemic, and their work has become increasingly risky as they keep cities clean. For informal waste pickers, these challenges are even greater. They often operate without protective equipment and sort through materials by hand as they recover and recycle people’s discards, which can be everything from plastic wrap to milk cartons to dangerous medical waste. Coronavirus germs, as we now know, can live on any of these surfaces, sometimes for days.