Evaluate the factors affecting health seeking behaviours of women rag pickers in Mumbai

Sumit Ghansham Wasnik, Kamaxi Bhate, Arjun Mehta, Mandar Sadawarte


Background: There are genuine reasons why rag pickers are considered one of the worst form of labour. The risk related to rag pickers’ health and physical development, as well as the hindrance these work places have on their education and psychological development; make rag picking a particularly adverse occupation for women and children. The objectives of the study were to explore the health profile and to identify the factors affecting the health seeking behaviours of women rag pickers.

Methods: This study was done with the help of NGO working for women rag pickers. 120 rag pickers were participated in the study during study period (Jan 2012 to July 2012).

Results: Almost all rag pickers were having some or other type of physical or mental ailments in minor or major form. It is seen that ignorance about health and disease is because of illiteracy, lower socioeconomic condition, unavailability of good health care facility nearby to their locality, difficulty in getting time to visit nearest health care facility from their 10-12 hours of duty etc.

Conclusions: It was found that these rag pickers prefers to visit private clinics as they are open in evening time and most of the time were affordable for minor ailments.




Rag pickers, Health seeking behavior, Municipal solid waste

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