For nearly two days, rescuers have been searching for a 12-year-old girl buried under garbage after a collapse on a huge landfill in western India.
Neha Vasava and a six-year-old boy were collecting plastic and metal from a 25- to 30-meter high litter pile in the Pirana dump in Ahmedabad when part of the mound collapsed on top of them on Saturday evening.
Some four million Indians, many of them children, work in dangerous and unsanitary conditions on garbage dumps to collect various materials for sale.
Unable to breathe normally
“The boy was also buried in the garbage, but his head was visible and locals were able to save him,” said firefighter MP Mistry.
"Our operations will continue until we find her."
He explained that the rescuers' job was made difficult by “the inability to breathe normally amidst tons of garbage” and also by the hordes of stray dogs living in the garbage.
Hundreds of families work there
The gigantic landfill receives some 3,500 tons of garbage every day from Ahmedabad, a city of 5.6 million inhabitants.
Several hundred families live on the site in conditions of extreme poverty and work there as ragpickers.
According to Unicef, more than 41 million children under the age of 12 are forced into labor in South Asia.
Experts believe the lockdown imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has deprived millions of resources of resources, has exacerbated the problem of child labor.