Friday, November 25, 2016

Manul Scavengers need a better life

I just happened to see a documentary film about Manual Scavengers and I just broke to shame :(

"I don't think there will be a day when I don't have to do this work, But I do not want my son to be like me….” A person in the video says before he breakout in tears.

"No one respects me in the society, I better die rather than doing this work for survival" a lady cries... "Am I also not a human being?" an elderly person asks.

"I have had many suffocation, There are many times I feel afraid that I will die" other person says. It is risky work; the buildup of waste emits a lethal cocktail of carbon monoxide and methane. Getting into a man-hole or a latrine is something very dangerous than you can imagine.

It's an extremely degrading and dangerous occupation. Most manual scavengers don't have suitable equipment. They don’t have gloves, No boots often they handle’em in plain hands or self-made bamboo/aluminium plates.

"I had no choice ; Perhaps it was my destiny." the other lady nods quietly. 

Isn’t it a shame to have manual scavenging still existing in India? Dry latrines, which are cleaned by manual scavengers still exist in public establishments and private houses in many parts of India, defying the basic human’s the most degrading still existing practice of "untouchability" in the country.

India’s Constitution, The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, prohibits compelling anyone to practice manual scavenging. In 2013, the Indian parliament enacted The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act (the 2013 Act) outlawing all manual excrement cleaning. But still the below figures are really worrisome. 

Source: Lok Sabha

Though a majority of the Indians has access to mobile phones, it’s really pity that more than 25% of the Indians do not have proper sanitation, including toilets or latrines, affecting the environment, human health, dignity  security, and social and economic development.

As long as, there are dry toilets, there will be a need to clean them and so the manual scavengers. Unless, everyone realize of the badness around manual scavenging and #opendefaction, it’s near impossible to scrap the shame of manual scavenging.

Successive Central and State government attempts to end this shame, but have been derailing by discrimination and local complicity. The government needs to get serious about putting laws banning manual scavenging into practice and assisting the affected caste communities.

#untouchability  #opendefaction  #manulscavenge #

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