AN E-WASTE market in New Delhi holds the largest collection of electronic scrap in India

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The E-Waste market holds the largest collection of electronic scrap in India

Seelampur has the biggest e-waste market in the country, where computers, TVs, mobiles and refrigerators are compiled from several different states.

The scrap heap is comprised of electronic goods such as computers, TVs and refrigerators

Over 30,000 people - including children - are working inside the e-waste factories extracting valuable components - mainly copper - from the various electronic compliances.

The workers include hosts of children as young as 12

Muhammad Hameed who runs a scrap shop in the locality said: "I have been working here for the last 40 years, extracting copper from the discarded circuit boards.

“My children are also working here. We are earning well here. They don’t go to school - there is no need for that. They are also earning good and that’s what I want.”

The workers mostly extract copper from various electronic appliances and discarded circuit boards

Locals work everyday to extract copper from circuit boards. Some extract metals independently and some work with big traders and earning around INR 200 - £2 - per day.

Sahil, a 12-year-old boy works with his mother in a small scrap factory.

Some workers extract metals independently and others work for large trading companies

He said: “I spend nine hours with my mother everyday teasing out copper, lead, aluminum and sometimes gold from old circuit boards. The owner pays INR 200 to my mother."

There are no fixed rates for workers and sometimes their pay depends on what they can extract

The income of people working in this scrap market is linked to how much they can dismantle and extract every day. It also depends on the quality of the metal that is extracted.

One 12-year-old worker, Sahil, describes working nine hours a day extracting materials to sell

Ishtiyaq, who owns a huge scrap factory in Seelampur said: “There are no fixed rates in this market. If anyone extracts gold – we pay him more. This is how you run a business.

Those who work for big traders earn around INR 200 - £2 - per day

“There is a demand for gold and copper. There are copper manufacturing plants that mostly buy and purify the extracts. They pay a good amount.”

Various trading companies and copper manufacturers buy the materials to purify and sell

Mehtab Muhammad, a trader of old electronic goods added: “The discarded goods are dismantled here and then different traders buy stuff like PCBs and wires for extraction and the dismantled scrap goes another place for metal extraction.”