Saturday, June 14, 2008
Text and picture ©Eki Qushay Akhwan
No. This man's not a terrorist or a criminal (despite the black mask). On the contrary, he could well be an urban hero. In the plastic bag he's lugging around are the refuse of our urban consumerist lifestyle: plastic bottles, cans, and other throwaways - things we don't want anymore, things that become the sore of our sights and smell.
He's a scavenger. He walks the streets, picks up the trash that can be recycled (from the trash bins and streets), and renders a service most of us barely recognize: helping the city to clean its streets and do the costly work of dumping and recycling its garbage. In other words, he helps us - citizens and taxpayers - clean our city and save our tax money. He - and many others like him - is another invisible hero of our society.
True. They don't do it out of philanthropist spirit. They make a living from it. It's all the more reason to consider what they do as an honorable job and them honorable members of the society. Now, what other jobs are there that earn a living while at the same time render a great service to the society? To me, these scavengers should be put at par with teachers, doctors, policemen/women and other professions whose services help make the world a better place.