The Absolutely Disgusting Comment A Gujarat Officer Made About Manual Scavengers

WaterAidEditor’s Note: This post is a part of #InDeepShit, by WaterAid India and Youth Ki Awaaz to understand the reality behind the inhumane practise of manual scavenging in India. You can speak up against this form of discrimination and share your views by publishing a story here.

By Merril Diniz:

According to The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the practice of manually cleaning and handling human excreta from dry latrines, open drains or pits and sewers without protective gear, has been criminalised.

Yet, this practice continues. To demonstrate this fact, international human rights and media NGO, Video Volunteers shot footage of three young sanitation workers entering a sewer without protective gear, in the Dhangadhra town in Gujarat.

They then showed it to Charuben Mori, Chief Executive Officer of Dhangadhra municipality. Watch the video below to see her reaction…

Responses like that of Ms Mori are typical, where the administration turns a turns a blind eye to the reality, thus helping to perpetuate a practice that is truly criminal. The number of dry latrines, which require manual scavenging, has only increased and stands at 96 lakhs, while over five lakh people, with 95% Dalits, were still working as manual scavengers.

There’s an urgent need for the rehabilitation of these workers, as well as stricter reinforcement of the law. To this effect, Video Volunteers has launched a petition to draw attention the issue.

As Bezwada Wilson, National Convener of the Safai Karmachari Andolan questions, “How can any human being be happy carrying the faeces and urine of another human being?”
After all, would you?

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