Thursday, December 14, 2006

Person of the Year & BlackJack

Every magazine seems to be doing a story about the Person of the Year. So I thought of doing my Person of the Year story as well.
And my person of the year is going to be......, it is not going to be a double talking and double crossing politician. It is someone who is doing a cleaning job for all of us, but we tech- workers are directly responsible for creating this pathetic job. With a heavy heart, I declare my Person of the Year: “E-Waste Salvage Yard Worker”.
Today's throwaway culture is creating a toxic time bomb - e-waste. The numbers are in staggering tens of million tons of e-waste every year. All the electronic goods, when discarded and thrown away, end up in landfills or incinerators or, more recently, are exported to Asia. And I am talking about those Asian countries where it ends up in e-waste salvage yards and these unfortunate workers end up processing them.
Here is the job description;

Location: India, Pakistan Vietnam, Singapore and China. But I will be talking about Delhi, India in particular.

Compensation: Couple of dollars a day (Rs100-200 per day in India).

Working hours: Exceeds 12 hours a day, for some till they drop dead.

Work place: Open terraces of the dilapidated slums in big cities like Delhi.

Tools: A kerosene or cooking gas stove, pair of pliers and a hammer.

Average Age: Most of them are in teens or twenties but some may be as young as 10 years old.

Work Process: Sitting on the concrete floor of the terraces, break open the plastic casing of the product you are working on and take out the PCB (Printed Circuit Board- essential part of all e-products). Fire your stove and hold the populated PCB with the pliers over the stove, getting close to it watch as the solder melts away, hammer all the components of the PCB on the floor. Pick up the components and drop them in the discarded paint buckets, making sure all similar looking components go in the same bucket. Keep doing it all day.

You guys would have realized by now, how damaging this process is for these helpless workers and the environment. This process releases heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury into the air and hundreds of other carcinogenic hazardous materials, causing havoc with the health to these workers and polluting the atmosphere.

There are 25,000 workers employed in these salvage yards in Delhi alone and are handling about10-20000 tones of e-waste everyday.

We think that we are doing hard jobs, working in air conditioned offices, clicking mouse’s and stroking keyboards. I do not know what can be done about this problem but industries and government can do much more than they are doing now by reduceing the use of toxic substances. The least we can do, is to be more gentle with our e-goods and prolong their life-cycle. And do not fall for the latest fad.
God save them!


Recently launched BlackJack smartphone by Samsung Electronics seems to haves created a lot of heartburn for the Research In Motion-- makers of BlackBerry and they are out in the courts. I do not know if this trademark law suit has any merit but BlackJack is going to beat BlackBerry anytime.After all BlackJack is the number one game on the casino tables. The number 21 has all the magic to lure thousands of us to Las Vegas and Atlantic City. I would like to see the BlackJack smartphone commercial.


Rakesh said...

Nice start, keep it up

Ajay said...

Nice, eye opening article. Keep it up.......Ajay / Chicago

free stock photos said...

i think your earlier posts are better than your latest ones.

i feel this is much better than gravity ones.

jk said...

I’ve always been sceptical about gambling. At University friends did a lot in the casinos in the city and lost a load of cash to some dodgy people and places. But eventually a friend said “Play online casino”, and I agreed to give it a go (after about four hours and debating the risks). So I signed up and played my first game of online casino blackjack, I lost but it was fun! Kept playing and was lucky enough to break even until I got the hang of it!
Has anybody got any tips or any success stories?