Indore Municipal Corporation Issues Occupational Identity Cards to Wastepickers

 
Indore Municipal Corporation Issues Occupational Identity Cards to Wastepickers

Written by Kabir Arora. Waste Narratives. 12/15/2016



Indore Municipal Corporation issued occupational identity cards to 25o wastepickers associated with Jan Vikas Society. The cards were distributed by Ms. Malini Gaur, Mayor of Indore city in the presence of many officials from the corporation. The identity card  s are c0-signed by Chief Medical Officer and Director, Jan Vikas Society. With that Indore becomes the first city in Madhya Pradesh to undertake  such an inclusionary measure.

The issuance of identity cards is an outcome of a long struggle waded by waste-pickers in the city. It has also been mandated by Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan guidelines. Commissioner of the city has assured that all wastepickers wi  ll be enumerated and given identity cards.

There are more than 3000 wastepickers in Indore, 93 percent of them are women. Jan Vikas Society has been working with wastepickers for the  past 15 years through formation of cooperative society, self help groups and providing vocational training, conducting regular health check-ups etc.

>Efforts are on to get waste pickers integrated into  the solid waste management process of Indore Municipal Corporation. 


 


 

Massive fire contained but hotspots remain at landfill

Massive fire contained but hotspots remain at landfill

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

 

 

Originally Uploaded on Jul 18, 2008

 

In countries around the world, hundreds of thousands of poor people face daily hazards to earn meager livings by scavenging for recyclable goods. In Cambodia, hundreds of scavenger families find their lives changing – they will lose their homes and livelihoods when the government closes the dump where they work. Rory Byrne has this report from Phnom Penh. Officially, it is the Steung Meanchey landfill site, but those who live here call it Smokey Mountain. Steung Meanchey dump is a seven-hectare mountain of smoking garbage on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Here some 2,000 workers, including about 600 children, sift through 700 tons of garbage a day.

In developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, garbage scavengers are among the poorest workers. In Cambodia, they typically earn about one dollar a day. Ten-year-old Ya has been recycling bottles and cans at the dump for three years. He says the situation here is terrible. He has to get up very early to work and finishes late in the evening. Ya says his life is very difficult. Collecting garbage brings him less than $1 a day which is not nearly enough to cover his expenses. Most of the scavengers live in wooden shacks around the dump. There is no access to clean water or sanitation and epidemics are commonplace.

The risks here are high. Sharp-edged metals and broken glass leave nasty wounds. And garbage scavengers suffer high rates of serious diseases, such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and even AIDS. A number of scavengers have been killed or seriously injured when they were run over by garbage trucks. She says it is very dangerous to work here – people can step on metal shards or nails for example or get hit and crushed by the dump trucks. She says she has injured herself with many things, like old needles.

Annette Jensen is the director of A New Day, a charity that provides free food, shelter and schooling to more than 100 children from Steung Meanchey dump.

"To see the children miserable, dirty, sad looking at the garbage dump and then have them arrive with their little plastic bag with all their belongings and move into the center. And to see their excitement about taking a shower. To see their excitement about getting their little bag of shampoo. And to see them clean, putting on their school uniform and going to school has just been amazing," says Jensen. But most of those working on Cambodia's landfills are not so lucky, and for children like Ya, going to school remains a distant dream,

Ya has he would go to school if he could stop working at the dump. He says he wants to go to school but cannot because his family is so poor.

Ya and his family now face a new challenge: the government plans to close Steung Meanchey and relocate the 535 families living there to land about 50 kilometers south of Phnom Penh.

The government will let them have tiny plots on which to build new homes. An official in charge of the project notes the location is near Udong Mountain, a tourist site, so that there are jobs available in the region. And he says, families are not being forced to move, but most are volunteering.

Still, no families have left so far. Many scavengers say they will be happy to leave the dump, but they are worried that they will not be able to make a living because the relocation camp is too far away from the city. By Rory Byrne, Phnom Penh.

 

 

Cambodia: CHILDREN OF THE DUMP – YouTube

Cambodia: CHILDREN OF THE DUMP

via Cambodia: CHILDREN OF THE DUMP – YouTube.

Uploaded on Jul 18, 2008

In countries around the world, hundreds of thousands of poor people face daily hazards to earn meager livings by scavenging for recyclable goods. In Cambodia, hundreds of scavenger families find their lives changing – they will lose their homes and livelihoods when the government closes the dump where they work. Rory Byrne has this report from Phnom Penh. Officially, it is the Steung Meanchey landfill site, but those who live here call it Smokey Mountain. Steung Meanchey dump is a seven-hectare mountain of smoking garbage on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Here some 2,000 workers, including about 600 children, sift through 700 tons of garbage a day.

In developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, garbage scavengers are among the poorest workers. In Cambodia, they typically earn about one dollar a day. Ten-year-old Ya has been recycling bottles and cans at the dump for three years. He says the situation here is terrible. He has to get up very early to work and finishes late in the evening. Ya says his life is very difficult. Collecting garbage brings him less than $1 a day which is not nearly enough to cover his expenses. Most of the scavengers live in wooden shacks around the dump. There is no access to clean water or sanitation and epidemics are commonplace.

The risks here are high. Sharp-edged metals and broken glass leave nasty wounds. And garbage scavengers suffer high rates of serious diseases, such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and even AIDS. A number of scavengers have been killed or seriously injured when they were run over by garbage trucks. She says it is very dangerous to work here – people can step on metal shards or nails for example or get hit and crushed by the dump trucks. She says she has injured herself with many things, like old needles.

Annette Jensen is the director of A New Day, a charity that provides free food, shelter and schooling to more than 100 children from Steung Meanchey dump.

"To see the children miserable, dirty, sad looking at the garbage dump and then have them arrive with their little plastic bag with all their belongings and move into the center. And to see their excitement about taking a shower. To see their excitement about getting their little bag of shampoo. And to see them clean, putting on their school uniform and going to school has just been amazing," says Jensen. But most of those working on Cambodia's landfills are not so lucky, and for children like Ya, going to school remains a distant dream,

Ya has he would go to school if he could stop working at the dump. He says he wants to go to school but cannot because his family is so poor.

Ya and his family now face a new challenge: the government plans to close Steung Meanchey and relocate the 535 families living there to land about 50 kilometers south of Phnom Penh.

The government will let them have tiny plots on which to build new homes. An official in charge of the project notes the location is near Udong Mountain, a tourist site, so that there are jobs available in the region. And he says, families are not being forced to move, but most are volunteering.

Still, no families have left so far. Many scavengers say they will be happy to leave the dump, but they are worried that they will not be able to make a living because the relocation camp is too far away from the city. By Rory Byrne, Phnom Penh.

Source: Cambodia: CHILDREN OF THE DUMP – YouTube

Children refugees from Myanmar tell of trauma

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar tell of trauma

Some hid in rice fields, others ate only leaves while making the long journey by foot across the border into Bangladesh.

New arrivals are grateful for whatever support they can find [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh – Outside this town by the Bay of Bengal, we kept bumping into fresh arrivals when we visited the camps for Rohingya refugees fleeing a security crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar.

Many of them said they were from the village of Kearipara in Myanmar. From the sounds of it, that village has been utterly devastated.

All of them shared similar stories: watching family members get murdered, hiding without eating for days, and having their homes burned down.

Several told us about having to sell their valuables – rings, piercings, earrings, whatever they had on them – to facilitate a safe passage into Bangladesh.

The route, which was always difficult and deadly, has become even more problematic.

After thousands of Rohingya were found stranded and starving off the coast of southern Thailand in the middle of last year, widespread international coverage forced the hands of governments of the region to crack down on a network of human traffickers who were exploiting the desperate refugees for cash.

But those very traffickers were also paradoxically the Muslim Rohingya's only hope to make it out of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and get on the circuitous trek that would take them through Bangladesh and Thailand into the relatively safe haven of Malaysia.

Now, just getting across the border to Bangladesh is a tough proposition for the Rohingya.

The refugees we met described hiding in rice fields for days. Some didn't eat. Others ate only leaves they found in the forests on the hills surrounding the border.

 

They advanced a few minutes at a time, taking care to stop and check every few hundred metres to make sure the Myanmar army or border guards weren't lying in wait – making a long journey by foot even longer.

Arriving in Bangladesh didn't mean the ordeal was over. If they were caught by the authorities, some would be allowed through by the border guards, others would be turned back.

Every few hundred metres there were checkpoints manned by armed patrols. Next to each of them would be one or two Rohingya families who'd been caught.

Would the soldiers show clemency? Or would they be returned to the heart of the violence they were fleeing? They sat by the side of the road, unsure of their fate.

Tens of thousands have managed to get into Bangladesh. Many of them are in the unofficial Rohingya refugee camps near the tourist town of Cox's Bazar.

Their hosts are refugees themselves with little to offer in terms of food or shelter.

But the community was pulling together to do what they could, faced with the suffering of their fellow Rohingya.

The new arrivals were grateful for whatever support they could find, but seething with resentment at the lack of action by the international community.

Ethnic cleansing proof

As far as they are concerned, the world has decided that the Rohingya are expendable.

From the Bangladesh side of the border, the evidence of what the UN has called a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar seems strong.

Aung San Suu Kyi, in response, has said that blame shouldn't be cast until all the facts are known.

That's fair enough.

But one of the known facts is that the Myanmar government won't let journalists or independent observers enter the areas where large-scale violence is believed to be taking place.

Why keep journalists out if Myanmar authorities have nothing to hide?

  by 

 

 

 

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Informal Workers | WIEGO

Informal Workers | WIEGO

Informal workers do not receive social protection through work or legal protection through the state. Too often, these workers are unfairly stigmatized as “illegal”, “underground”, “black” or “grey” – but the vast majority are simply trying to earn a living against great odds.

Informal workers may be self-employed in small unregistered enterprises; they may be sub-contracted workers or even work for wages in unprotected jobs. And they can be found in urban or rural settings, and in the richest as well as the poorest countries.

In recent decades, informal employment has persisted or grown, emerging in unexpected places and in new guises. Today, half to three-quarters or more of non-agricultural workers in developing countries earn their living informally.

They work in plain sight…

Street vendors in Mexico City; rickshaw pullers in Kolkata; jeepney drivers in Manila; push-cart vendors in New York city; garbage collectors in Bogotá; roadside barbers in Durban… those who work on the streets or in open areas belong to the more visible occupational groups in the informal economy.

…and out of sight

Some informal workers are less visible – even invisible. Down the crowded lanes are workshops that repair bicycles and motorcycles; recycle scrap metal; make furniture and metal parts; tan leather and stitch shoes; weave, dye, and print cloth; polish gems; sort and sell paper, and plastic waste; and more.

The least visible informal workers, the majority women, sell or produce goods from their homes: they may be garment or food workers, incense-stick or cigarette rollers, paper bag or kite makers.

Then there are those – again usually women – who work in others’ homes. Tens of millions of domestic workers around the globe are among the most vulnerable of all workers.

And informal workers are not confined to developing countries. There are informal garment workers in Toronto; informal embroiderers on the island of Madeira; informal shoemakers in Madrid; and informal assemblers of electronic parts in Leeds.

Other common categories of informal work in both developed and developing countries include contract workers in restaurants/hotels; sub-contracted janitors and security guards; casual day labourers in construction and agriculture; piece-rate workers in sweatshops; and temporary office helpers or off-site data processors. Most workers in all of these categories are informally employed.

But despite great differences …

Working conditions and earnings differ markedly. Even within countries, the informal economy is highly segmented by place of work, sector of the economy, and status in employment and, across these segments, by social group and gender.

…they have one thing in common

Most of the working poor in the informal economy share lack legal and social protection.

WIEGO’s Focus

WIEGO particularly focuses on four groups – domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors, and waste pickers – because they tend to be among the poorest informal workers and because women tend to be over-represented among them. Read more about these groups.

Informal Workers | WIEGO.

Source: Informal Workers | WIEGO

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Wiego Informal Workers (Video)

Informal workers do not receive social protection through work or legal protection through the state. Too often, these workers are unfairly stigmatized as “illegal”, “underground”, “black” or “grey” – but the vast majority are simply trying to earn a living against great odds.

Informal workers may be self-employed in small unregistered enterprises; they may be sub-contracted workers or even work for wages in unprotected jobs. And they can be found in urban or rural settings, and in the richest as well as the poorest countries.

In recent decades, informal employment has persisted or grown, emerging in unexpected places and in new guises. Today, half to three-quarters or more of non-agricultural workers in developing countries earn their living informally.

 

 

Green Fire On The Blockchain

Green Fire On The Blockchain

Green Fire has decided to change the world as you know it. We are moving together onto the blockchain. We have chosen “Green Fire Gold” (GFG) as the blockchain application name. GFG will be the first to take landfill mining and reclamation on to the blockchain.

GFG is designed with next generation high load blockchain protocols, utilizing a blockchain design that improves functionality with each additional user, maximizing scalability and load performance.

GFG includes your own private universal wallet that allows for immediate trading and exchange between all currencies and investment markets.

The GFG blockchain is designed by the best in cryptocurrency development to create a coin and mainstream payment network usable by everyone in the world.

The GFG universal wallet/coin combo can be used to manage your entire life and assets. Inside are a Universal Dapp store (decentralized application store), micro-services, micro-payments, smart contracts, universal exchange, universal payment system, and custom template decentralized app building, just to name a few.

Understanding blockchain

The Blockchain has become the default backbone for most new financial and business development.

In essence, blockchain is a distributed database, or "timestamp server," as it was called by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in the paper that proposed bitcoin.

The blockchain consists of blocks of data — each block is a timestamped batch of valid individual transactions and the hash of the previous block, creating a link between the two. Because each timestamp includes the previous timestamp in its hash, it forms a chain. Each new transaction must be authenticated across the distributed network of computers that form the blockchain before it can form the next block in the chain.

GFG is developing a fully decentralized, leaderless DAO*, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and a fully distributed financial platform, OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT.

GFG is using the MyCryptoWorld development platform to construct the GFG DAO. This platform develops on an advanced Ethereum blockchain.

For the determination phase of implementation an interdisciplinary team of cryptocurrency, marketing and software veterans/enthusiasts around the globe have already started determining the intelligence that operates GFG.

As soon the business determination is finished the whole system will be completely community/user driven and owned. From this point on the further evolution will be in the hands of all owners, using e-Governance/voting and other cutting edge tools to create consensus and run decisions.

The GFG DAO is a digital decentralized autonomous organization and a form of investor-directed venture capital fund.

The GFG DAO has an objective to provide a new decentralized business model for organizing both international commerce and social marketing. It will be on the Ethereum blockchain, and will have no conventional management structure or board of directors.

The GFG DAO is stateless, and not tied to any particular nation state. As a result, many questions of how government regulators would deal with a stateless fund are yet to be dealt with.

The GFG DAO is being crowdfunded via a token sale. A similar crowdfunding campaign in May 2016. It set the record for the largest crowdfunding campaign in history

OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT

The Landfill Pickers and the Women Informal Workers will own GFG. GFG will be governed by consensus.

Consensus in a distributed system is determined by entities checking each other's work and providing a stamp of approval as to transactions and activities allowed. This is accomplished through a distributed network, one might say, a “social neural network”.

Smart Contracts

GFG Blockchain also leverages a technology called "smart contracts," which are bits of executable code that only act when specific conditions within the blockchain are met. This allows a blockchain to automate activity like payment transfers when a task is completed, or even a partial payment when a milestone is achieved.

By providing a way to record transactions as automated trusted activity among digitally networked peers, audit and professional services firm Ernst & Young believes "blockchain technology has the potential to streamline and accelerate business processes, increase cybersecurity and reduce or eliminate the roles of trusted intermediaries (or centralized authorities) in industry after industry."

Blockchains have proven that they reduce cost and increase trust in financial transactions. It is becoming apparent that we can expect financial services firms to abandon existing transaction-processing technologies in favor of blockchain technologies.

We are developing the GFG DAO on the blockchain with a unique crypto token (coin) and its own brand of distributed manufacturing and ecommerce.

Green Fire is taking the Landfill Mining operations and the Children of the Landfill project and wrapping them in a blockchain application.

This will provide these “invisible workers” the very poorest of the poor the most unique democratic environment that is yet to prevail for them. They will be the next global cultural warriors to emerge from the shadows.

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
 

In world’s poorest slums, landfills and polluted rivers become a child’s playground | PBS NewsHour

A girl plays with her brother as they search for usable items at junkyard near the Danyingone station in Yangon's suburbs in Myanmar in 2012. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters

A girl plays with her brother as they search for usable items at junkyard near the Danyingone station in the suburbs of Yangon, Myanmar, in 2012. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Worldwide, more than 340,000 children under age 5 died from diarrheal diseases in 2013 due to a lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene. That’s 1,000 deaths a day, according to the UN’s statistics. What’s more, the No. 1 killer of children between the ages of one month to 5 years, pneumonia, can also be spread through a lack of hygiene.

Although much improvement has been made in the past decade to aid children across the globe, there are still alarming numbers who do not have access to clean water, proper sanitation or even just a way to clean their hands — especially after coming in contact with waste and feces.

“A gram of feces can contain ten million viruses,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, Chief of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Programme Division at UNICEF. “Many diseases are transmitted by pathogens going from feces to food and fingers and so on, making children ill.”

A boy swims in the polluted waters of the Sabarmati River to dive for offerings thrown in by worshippers in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad in 2010. Photo by Amit Dave/Reuters

One of the most basic hygiene problems that haunt developing communities is lack of adequate toilets. Around the world, about 2.5 billion people do not have proper toilets. Among them, 1 billion people defecate in the open — in fields, bushes and bodies of water — putting themselves and their community in danger of fecal-oral diseases, like hepatitis, cholera and dysentery.

Children are especially susceptible to these diseases when their home and “playgrounds” are overrun with rubbish and human waste. In countries throughout Asia, children can be seen swimming in polluted stagnant waters, digging through trash and playing amid toxic substances at landfills.

“When you have children running around barefeet, then coming in contact with excrete, it’s really easy to catch the worms and this of course impacts their development and growth,” said Dr. Aidan Cronin, Chief of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program at UNICEF Indonesia.

A child jumps on the waste products that are used to make poultry feed as she plays in a tannery at Hazaribagh in Dhaka in 2012. Luxury leather goods sold across the world are produced in a slum area of Bangladesh's capital where workers, including children, are exposed to hazardous chemicals and often injured in horrific accidents. Photo by Andrew Biraj/Reuters

A child jumps on the waste products that are used to make poultry feed as she plays in a tannery at Hazaribagh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2012. Luxury leather goods sold across the world are produced in this slum area of Bangladesh’s capital where workers, including children, are exposed to hazardous chemicals and often injured in horrific accidents. Photo by Andrew Biraj/Reuters

Reuters photographers have been capturing scenes like this for the past decade. But even some of the oldest photos in this series picture grisly scenes that, sadly, are still the reality in urban slums today.

Not only do these conditions promote the spread of deadly childhood diseases, another major health problem that affects children’s lives is stunting, often caused by malnutrition but also by intestinal worms and internal inflammation from fecal-oral contamination.

Stunting has become a huge obstacle for many children’s physical and cognitive growth, ultimately affecting their development and ability to learn. In Indonesia alone, nearly 9 million children suffer from stunting, said Cronin.

A child eats breakfast in a garbage dump, where hundreds of people live and make a living by recycling waste and making charcoal, in the Tondo section of Manila December 9, 2007. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

A child eats breakfast in a garbage dump, where hundreds of people live and make a living by recycling waste and making charcoal, in the Tondo section of Manila, Dec. 9, 2007. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

In Indonesia, UNICEF have recently launched a campaign called “Tinju Tinja,” which means “punch the poo” in Indonesian, in support of the Government’s five-year plan to have a completely open defecation-free country. In an attempt to engage the urban youth, the campaign has one of the local rock stars, Melanie Subono, literally fighting the “poo monster” as the main image to spearhead the campaign.

“It all starts from acknowledging that [open defecation] is a serious problem,” Cronin said. “The more you engage with communities and work with them with their specific issues, the more sustainable sanitation is.”

Children sitting on a makeshift raft play in a river full of rubbish in a slum area of Jakarta in 2012. Photo by Enny Nuraheni/Reuters

Children sitting on a makeshift raft play in a river full of rubbish in a slum area of Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2012. Photo by Enny Nuraheni/Reuters

One way to help children is through education and schools, said Dr. Jody Heymann, Dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and founding director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center. A lot of progress has been made to make primary schools free and available for children around the world. In Indonesia, UNICEF works through primary schools to teach kids the importance of sanitation and hygiene by putting in clean toilets, hand washing stations and soap so that the kids can form a habit of cleaning.

“I think when we see [these] images, we should be asking not only ‘why isn’t there a playground? What’s leading them to the dump?’” said Heymann. “But the bigger question of what’s keeping them from being in school, gaining education that would give them lifelong opportunity.”

A boy looks on as he collects recyclable materials at a garbage dump in New Delhi in 2006. Photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

A boy looks on as he collects recyclable materials at a garbage dump in New Delhi in 2006. Photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

A boy plays in a polluted river after school at Pluit dam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 5, 2009. Photo by Beawiharta/Reuters

A boy plays in a polluted river after school at Pluit dam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 5, 2009. Photo by Beawiharta/Reuters

Sana, a five-year-old girl, plays on a cloth sling hanging from a signalling pole as smoke from a garbage dump rises next to a railway track in Mumbai in 2012. Photo by Vivek Prakash/Reuters

Sana, a 5-year-old girl, plays on a cloth sling hanging from a signalling pole as smoke from a garbage dump rises next to a railway track in Mumbai, India, in 2012. Photo by Vivek Prakash/Reuters

A child living in a slum plays on a swing under a bridge on the bank of Bagmati River in Kathmandu October 17, 2011. Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

A child living in a slum plays on a swing under a bridge on the bank of Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal, Oct. 17, 2011. Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

A child swims in a polluted reservoir in Pingba, southwest China's Guizhou province September 2, 2006. Photo by China Daily/Reuters

A child swims in a polluted reservoir in Pingba, in southwest China’s Guizhou province Sept. 2, 2006. Photo by China Daily/Reuters

A boy plays at a garbage dump where hundreds of people stay and make a living out of recycling waste and making charcoal in Tondo, Manila in 2007. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

A boy plays at a garbage dump where hundreds of people stay and make a living out of recycling waste and making charcoal in the Tondo section of Manila, in 2007. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Children play in the fumes of a municipality fumigant sprayer in a slum area in the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri October 5, 2006. Photo by Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Children play in the fumes of a municipality fumigant sprayer in a slum area in the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri, Oct. 5, 2006. Photo by Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. Photo by Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi Nov. 10, 2011. Photo by Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

A boy swims in the polluted water of the Yamuna River to dive for offerings thrown in by worshippers amidst a dust haze in New Delhi during World Environment Day in 2010. Photo by Reinhard Krause/Reuters

A boy swims in the polluted water of the Yamuna River to dive for offerings thrown in by worshippers amid a dust haze in New Delhi during World Environment Day in 2010. Photo by Reinhard Krause/Reuters

People paddle in the waters of Manila Bay amid garbage during Easter Sunday in Manila April 24, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters

People paddle in the waters of Manila Bay amid garbage in the Philippines’ capital city on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters

Boys collect coconuts thrown in as offerings by worshippers in the waters of the Sabarmati river after the immersion of idols of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad in 2011. Photo by Amit Dave/Reuters

Boys collect coconuts thrown in as offerings by worshippers in the waters of the Sabarmati River after the immersion of idols of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad in 2011. Photo by Amit Dave/Reuters

Children of rag-pickers stand amid a heap of garbage on the outskirts of New Delhi in 2006. Photo by Kamal Kishore/Reuters

Children of rag-pickers stand amid a heap of garbage on the outskirts of New Delhi in 2006. Photo by Kamal Kishore/Reuters

In world’s poorest slums, landfills and polluted rivers become a child’s playground | PBS NewsHour.

Source: In world’s poorest slums, landfills and polluted rivers become a child’s playground | PBS NewsHour

The Ultimate Disruption in the Financial System – Blockchain Technology

The Ultimate Disruption in the Financial System – Blockchain Technology

Extracted from BBVA Research on Digital Banking.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer public ledger maintained by a distributed network of computers that requires no central authority or third party intermediaries. It consists of three key components: a transaction, a transaction record and a system that verifies and stores the transaction. The blocks are generated through open-source software and record the information about when and in what sequence the transaction took place.

This “block” chronologically stores information of all the transactions that have taken place in the chain, thus the name blockchain. In other words, blockchain is a database of immutable time-stamped information of every transaction that is replicated on servers across the globe. This technology is the foundation of bitcoin, a crypto currency.

In traditional transactions such as money transfers or foreign currency, there is usually an intermediary or a centralized entity that records the transmission of money or currency that exist apart from it. In blockchain, the token or digital coin itself is what has value, which is determined by the market. This is what makes the system a truly decentralized exchange. When people buy or sell cryptocurrency, a secret key or token is broadcast to the system. “Miners” use nodes, computers or devices linked to a network, to identify and validate the transaction using copies of all or some information of the blockchain.

Before the transaction is accepted by the network, miners have to show “proof of work” using a cryptographic hash function –a special algorithm- that aims to provide high levels of protection. Miners receive some form of compensation for their computing power contribution, avoiding the need to have a centralized system.

New protocols such as Ripple rely on a consensus process that does not need miners nor proof of work and can agree on the changes to the blockchain within seconds.

In any case, the blockchain offers an inherent level of trust for the user, eliminating the need for the middleman and mitigating the risk of human error. In this public ledger, the data is protected against tampering and revision, and individuals cannot replace parts of the blockchain as the cost of doing so is significant – hypothetically one would need to control more than half of the “nodes” to surreptitiously alter the block chain.

The Disruption

While cryptocurrency itself has received a lot of criticism, the blockchain technology is thought to offer great potential, attracting the attention of governments, businesses and venture capital at a rapid pace. Some ideas developed in recent years include a pay-as-you-go system that allows users to stream live video; a structure that allows sharing space-program information; or ways to record business information such as audits. In most cases, these options are thought to offer greater security, speed and reliability at a fraction of the cost of more traditional infrastructures.

Other ideas include the possibility to create digital identities that could substitute dozens of usernames and passwords while offering greater security features; and “smart contracts” with self-executing properties that would make the contract “unbreakable”.

In the financial industry, institutions are slow to recognize the potential of blockchain technology; however, dozens of large banks have now invested significant amounts of money in this technology.

The attention is likely the result of how disruptive this technology is to the financial sector, particularly if it allows massive simplification of banking processes and significantly reduces costs.

The first levels of disruption seem more likely in payment processing where traditional transactions such as money transfers, credit and debit card payments, remittances, foreign currency and online payments, require an intermediary such as a clearing house or a financial institution.

In these cases the transaction would occur directly between the buyer and the seller without any intermediary and the validation of the transaction would happen in a decentralized way or “distributed ledger”. This would result in significant infrastructure savings for banks by allowing them to bypass payment networks that are oftentimes slow, cumbersome, and expensive.

However, the biggest potential impact of a public ledger may extend beyond the payment system. Given that the majority of financial assets such as bonds, equities, derivatives and loans are already electronic it may be possible that someday the entire system is replaced by a decentralized structure.

In fact, the latest innovations are using tokens to store and trade assets like shares, bonds, cars, houses and commodities. These so-called “colored coins” attach additional information on the asset, generating “smart property” or the ability to record and transact these assets using “smart contracts”, which are enforced by complex algorithms, through distributed platforms without a centralized register, thereby increasing efficiency.

In this environment, the current system where financial institutions record individuals’ accounts in a centralized fashion and the banks’ reserves are stored by the central bank (i.e. Federal Reserve) would be replaced by the “Internet of money” or the “Internet of finance” – a fully decentralized financial system.

As other industries that have been transformed by new technologies and digitization, blockchain technology could reshape the financial industry well beyond the payments system.

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD INITIATIVE

WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD INITIATIVE

Children of the World Misery
Children of the World Misery

At the beginning of the 21st Century the children of the world are facing an undeclared assault upon their childhood as they suffer as a result of poverty, sexual exploitation, abuse as well as becoming the innocent victims of wars and the HIV/AIDS epidemics.Ten years ago the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and the UN Secretary General has stated “we have no higher priority, no prouder achievement, than our work for the rights of children!”

A few facts indicate it may be a little early “for we the people” to be proud of our achievement:

  • 12 million children die before reaching their fifth year
  • 100 million homeless children living in the streets around the world.
  • 250,000 children die every week from diseases and malnutrition.
  • 2 million children are objects of sexual abuse – child pornography and demand for  child prostitutes has increased globally.
  • 20 million children are refugees or internally displaced in their homeland.
  • 10 million children are child slaves
  • Millions of girls are ‘missing’ as a result of foeticide, infanticide and neglect.

Millions of children are being orphaned as their parents die of AIDS related illnesses.The figures are unimaginable – already 11 million children in sub-Saharan Africa alone have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic and reliable sources estimate that by 2010 there will be more than 30 million children orphaned by AIDS decimating parents.

Millions more are being orphaned by poverty and war. The most defenceless victims of the savagery of war are children who are terrorized, often sexually abused, mutilated, forced to participate in killing or enrolled as child soldiers.Ethnic wars target children as they represent the future and in the last 10 years alone 1.5 million children have died in wars. Long after war is over children continue to be traumatized by their brutal experience and to be at risk as the hundreds of thousands of landmines left as a deadly legacy of war continue to maim or kill 800 children each month. Millions of children live their entire childhood in refugee camps.

In many countries orphans are considered as outcasts.Throughout the world millions of children are kept in grossly sub-standard orphanages and other institutions, suffering from inadequate food, clothing, medical care, lack of stimulation and neglect.Medical care for orphans is limited and basic medical supplies are scarce.

Every week 250,000 children die – victims of avoidable disease and malnutrition – and millions more are condemned to suffer poor health and stunted growth.Education is vital to the development of children and is recognized as a universal human right.Yet the unpalatable truthis millions of children inherit a lifelong handicap as they do not receive even a basic education.

AN UNACCEPTABLE TRAGEDY

Women Aid International regards the current state of affairs as an unacceptable tragedy.Children alone cannot argue for their rights – they need advocates to help them understand their rights, to work actively on their behalf and to build global, regional and national coalitions to ensure the world community is made fully aware of the abuses perpetrated on children.As the second UN Special Session on the Rights of the Child (2001) approaches, “we the people” should demand less rhetoric from our governments and more real action to put rights into practice.All governments should end impunity for those who violate child rights.

A constructive, pro-active partnership between children, adults, all sectors of civil society, child rights and well-being non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, and all governments is vital if the full rights and well-being of the children of the world are to be secured.

WomenAid International supports projects offering solutions to the problems of the most vulnerable children and families, through prevention, information, out-reach and training activities.Of special focus are children in especially difficult circumstances: – refugee or IDP children, street children, children in conflict with the law or at risk of being in conflict with the law, drug and alcohol addicts and children in institutions.

WomenAid Children of the World Initiative (WCWI) includes:-

  • Child Rights and Well-being Advocacy Programme
  • Children of the Silk Road Programme: practical assistance projects
  • Orphan Kidz OK!: support for orphan focused projects and NGOs working with orphans.

WomenAid Children of the World Initiative (WCWI) aims to allievate suffering of children by:

  • Providing urgent relief aid and support for children in distress;
  • Promoting child rights advocacy and development and training ‘Rights Educators’;
  • Supporting youth friendly clinics, safe spaces, crisis centres and shelters providing respite to children in crisis, including the provision of crisis telephone help lines;
  • Providing street children with access to ‘life skills’ – resisting peer pressure, problem solving, decision making and negotiation skills; as well as resources available to meet their immediate needs;
  • Establishing multi-disciplinary services for children traumatised by war and low-intensity conflicts;
  • Increasing awareness of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemics upon children;
  • Formulating concrete orphan support policies and empowering orphaned children, fostering the spirit of self-reliance;
  • Mobilising effective community responses and strengthening childcare provision services, promoting the development of new models of care service delivery;
  • Encouraging organisational and institutional capacity building and providing financial and material assistance, as well as training;
  • Implementing rehabilitation and construction programmes;
  • Developing media advocacy programmes to increase public support for the rights of children.

For many of us childhood memories are of certainty, the certainty of love, of feeling safe and of belonging. Millions of children are being denied such memories.By supporting the WomenAid Children of the World Initiative you can help a child in peril to experience a safer childhood.

WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL
3 Whitehall Court  London  SW1A 2EL
tel: +44 (0) 20 7839 1790  FAX: +44 (0) 20 7839 2929
e-mail: womenaid@womenaid.org   Reg. charity No.  299224

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
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