Hello! Some of you might not actually be aware of, either who I am, or what my plans are. So allow me to introduce myself, tell you what I’m doing at the moment, and explain what I hope to be doing in the next couple of months. My name is Sven Schiltz and I’m a 27-year-old post-graduate student conducting research at the University of Lincoln where I also work as a graduate teaching assistant. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and I’m more than one year into my post-graduate studies now. It’s however been only recently that I have discovered where my project is leading me.
Originally I was trying to use the theoretical work of David Harvey, a Marxian geographer and apply it to what’s going on in terms of casual and informal work in economically and culturally important cities. In academia, such cities are increasingly referred to as ‘global cities’. After a while I discovered that there is a particular type of informal work, namely rag picking, which takes place in almost any urban area around the globe. Thus also in global cities. People who analyse the metropolis in terms of ‘global cities’ have, however not looked into rag picking as an informal activity. I decided to analyse this occupation more closely and I soon discovered that its neglect in global city research is unjustified. Rag picking is indeed a very important activity. Unfortunately the importance of rag picking is usually not recognised by the public and rag pickers are given a very bad social stigma. I will be posting a more specific explanation about rag picking actually is very soon.
Anyway, I am very fortunate to have a friend who managed to put me in contact with an NGO in Delhi, which works closely with rag pickers (thanks Julie!). After getting in touch with Chintan, as this NGO is called, I was offered an internship with them which I will do between January 24 and March 7.
This blog will document my experiences in Delhi.