Indian Bone Collectors You’ve Never Heard About – Why Does Whole Nation Disrespect Them?

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One of the historical jobs in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is a “bone collectors”. They have been collecting the bones from animal carcasses for generations.

Since the government’s crackdown on cattle slaughter in 2017, they have been living in fear. And Nexter.org knows why.

Who are bone collectors?

In North , these are the people who collect the bones from animal carcasses and sale them.

“When people see us carrying bones, they just assume that we work for slaughterhouses,” 55-year-old Brijwasi Lal told BBC.

india-bone-collector-photo

Source: BBC

It’s not a profitable job, they make $0.04 per kilogram of bones, but sometimes it’s the only way to feed their families.

“We only make 3-5 rupees ($0.04; £0.03) per kilogram of bones,” says Mr Lal. “It’s not a very honourable job, but at least it feeds my family.”

Bone collectors usually walk around 27 miles looking for dead animals or they are called by people when animals die in their houses.

It’s a very hard and dangerous job because many people think they smuggle cows for slaughter. 

india-bones-photo

Source: BBC

Why it’s so dangerous? 

The troubles started after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the state elections in March 2017 and authorities in Uttar Pradesh closed many slaughterhouses.

According to the ruling party, cows should be protected as they are considered holy by ’s majority Hindu population. However, millions of Indians consume beef.

Now Mr Lal says he is scared because about a dozen people have been killed in the last few years in the name of protecting cows.

“We don’t kill animals,” he says. “We only pick their bones when they die. But some people are ignorant and end up abusing us. I have seen so many sick cows – often with wounds. I wish people actually took care of cows rather than troubling us.”

india-bone-collector-photo

Source: BBC

Most of the victims were Muslims – and they were often targeted on the basis of rumors.

“We have to be very careful and that is why we start very early in the dark and finish our work before 10am,” says Mr Lal.

Unfortunately, neither neighbors nor authorities respect bone collectors although they play an important role in society.

india-bone-collector-photo

Source: BBC

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Summary
Indian Bone Collectors You've Never Heard About - Why Does Whole Nation Disrespect Them?
Title
Indian Bone Collectors You've Never Heard About - Why Does Whole Nation Disrespect Them?
Description
One of the oldest profession in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is a "bone collectors". They have been collecting the bones from animal carcasses for generations. Since the government's crackdown on cattle slaughter in 2017, they have been living in fear. And Nexter.org knows why.
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