Harvey Brownstone Interviews Saumya Roy, Author of “Castaway Mountain: Love and Loss Among the Wastepickers of Mumbai”
Harvey Brownstone conducts an in-depth interview with Saumya Roy, Author of “Castaway Mountain: Love and Loss Among the Wastepickers of Mumbai”
About Harvey's guest:
Saumya Roy is a journalist and activist based in Mumbai. She has written for Forbes India magazine, Mint newspaper, Outlook magazine, wsj.com, thewire.in and Bloomberg News among others. In 2010 she co- founded Vandana Foundation to support the livelihoods of Mumbai’s poorest micro entrepreneurs by giving small, low interest loans.
Her book is entitled, “Castaway Mountain: Love and Loss Among the Wastepickers of Mumbai”, and it opens our eyes to a little known community of over a thousand people living on the outskirts of Mumbai, India at the edge of the massive Deonar garbage mountains. These people, living in small shacks and tents, are trash pickers. They make their living by foraging through this massive dump filled with torn rags, plastic, broken glass, crushed cans, and even toxic waste, looking for anything they can sell, so they can live another day. This non-fiction book is a deeply moving love story with unforgettable characters, set against the backdrop of this real-life harrowing world in India, of excruciating poverty and squalor in the shadow of enormous wealth.
She has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Blue Mountain Center, Carey Institute for Global Good and Sangam House to write this book. She attended a conference on environmental humanities at KTH, Stockholm in 2017 to share her research, and contributed a chapter to Dharavi: The Cities Within/ (HarperCollins, 2013), an anthology of essays on Asia’s largest slum.
Roy was a fellow of the National Foundation of India in 2012, and has Masters Degrees in Journalism from Northwestern University and Mumbai’s Sophia College, where she teaches magazine writing.
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