Meet 15 Year old ragpicker who is now SMC’s Brand Ambassador
Bilal Ahmad Dar, an 15 -Year old ragpicker who earned his living by cleaning Wullar Lake in North Kashmir’s Bandipora District has been appointed as brand ambassador of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).
From last five years, Bilal Ahmad dar, who is hailing from Laharwarpora village of North Kashmir’s Bandipora distric,t has been removing plastic trash from the lake and selling it for around Rs 200 per day, which helps him support his mother Mughali and his sister.
Bilal’s father Mohammad Ramzan Dar, who was ragpicker himself, was suffering from cancer and died. “At that time I was Class 6th. Then, I had to earn at an early age to feed my Mother and a sister”, said Bilal.
Since the death of his Father, Bilal became bread earner for his family. Bilal collected over 14,000 kg trash per Year. “He didn’t bear my pain while I was doing hardwork. He abandoned studies to relieve my suffering”, said Mughli, mother of Bilal.
Bilal while narrating his story with this correspondent at his Laharwarpora resident said that there is a lot of trash around Wullar Lake which poisons water and disappoints tourists coming from every nook and corner of the World. “So I decided to clean it. I am cleaning Wullar from the year 2012. I earn around Rs 6000 per Month”, he said.
When contacted SMC Commissioner Shafkat Khan, he said that Bilal is their brand ambassador. Bilal is an inspiration character for everyone. Since last five years Bilal has been earning his livelihood by cleaning the Wular Lake and removing garbage, used bottles and shoes. Khan said that bilal will get a special uniform of SMC and vehicle to visit different areas to motivate people, shopkeepers and commuters to keep Wullar clean. He will tell them the story of his life, his work in Wullar. He will meet people and sensitize them about cleanliness and garbage disposal.
Bilal features in a documentary, ‘Saving the savior – Story of kid and Wullar lake.’ The documentary produced and directed by Jalal-u-Din Baba features the life of Bilal. Jalal while talking with this Correspondent said that Bilal for his unique way of inspiring the world to care and concern for a water body is commendable. “He’s a remarkable human being beyond most of us. He doesn’t wish to live a weight on nature but becomes its real son with compassionate treatment”, he said.