“I wake up to the bustling sounds of the city, the honking horns and busy streets. For me, the day begins earlier than most. I am a raddi wala, collecting newspapers, cardboard, and all things scrap and selling them to the recycling factories.
My journey began out of necessity. Raised in a small village in the outskirts of Nizamabad, opportunities were scarce. With limited education and resources, I knew I had to forge my own path. Armed with determination, I set out to do some work in Hyderabad city.
Starting off was tough. No contacts, no capital, just a relentless drive to succeed. I knocked on doors, asking for old newspapers and magazines. Some gave them freely, others needed persuasion.
Kids mimic me, shouting ‘Paperrrrr….’ from their homes as I pass. I enjoy it, knowing my loud tone is my identity. As days turned into months, my clientele grew. Word spread about the fair raddi wala who always wore a smile.
It’s not just scrap; it’s stories. Every piece tells a tale. From the elderly sharing memories to the youth dreaming of change, each interaction leaves a mark.
I collect all sorts – iron, cardboard, books, bottles – sending it for recycling. I relocated my shop 20 years ago, cycling door-to-door for scrap.
As I age, my daughter gifted me a Luna for easier commuting. As the sun sets, I pack up, ready for tomorrow’s adventures. The journey is tough, but as long as there are news stories and scrap, I’ll be here.”
- Md. Shaik