Mumbai, one of the planet’s most densely populated urban areas, is the only city in the world that employs full-time night rat catchers.
Shakeel Sheikh, 24, searches for rats outside a slaughterhouse in Mumbai, where he works as one of the 44 night rat killers employed by the pest control department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
21 Oct 2011. Mumbai, India. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Waseem Sheikh, 12, searches for rats with a torch outside a residential complex. He and his fellow rat catchers are expected to kill at least 30 rodents each night and hand over the carcasses to civic officials in the morning. If they fall short by even one body, they are expected to make it up the next night, otherwise they stand to lose a day's pay.
18 Oct 2011. Mumbai, India. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Sixty-one-year-old Javed Sheikh carries dead rats in a plastic sack through an alley in a slum area on the outskirts of the city. Rat-catching employees are paid a salary of 15,000 - 17,000 Indian Rupees ($294 - $333) while contract labourers are paid 5 rupees ($0.10) per dead rat.
19 Oct 2011. Mumbai, India. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Shakeel Sheikh wears gloves as he prepares to kill rats outside a slaughterhouse. Together, the Mumbai rat catchers kill some 350,000 rodents a year.
29 Oct 2011. Mumbai, India. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Javed Sheikh is helped by his daughter as he washes his hands outside their house in a slum area, on the outskirts of Mumbai.