Human or notSeptember 23, 2018
India’s iconic monument India-Gate has witnessed a different kind of foot march demanding justice for the families of demised municipal workers in Delhi. Members of Safai Karamachari Andolan staged protest alleging state and Center government of passing buck over taking responsibility of unfortunate deaths of sewage workers while cleaning drains.
Despite of SC ruling against manual scavenging, the illegal practice in metro cities, especially in Delhi is an open secret which is really shameful for the society in totality.
We all are aware of the condition of sewage workers in India. Its been almost a century and we still treat them with the same disrespect and untouchability. Not far from your daily routine, how often would you offer a bottle of water to a worker who just came of a drain, I understand. Honestly speaking none of us will.
Dealing with toxic fumes and acid is a part of their job. They breathe those gases that we can’t even stand by. Going into a drain and cleaning it comes later. Cleaning a drain is a mandatory situation but that doesn’t mean people should play with their life.
Lettings workers clean these drain by hand without any protection is India is because of social inequality. These workers belong to lower caste and their employer’s most often the upper caste. It’s a way to show them their place.
In 2013 the government of India increased the fine on employers who let their employees’ clean sewers by hand and without any gas mask or protection. However, the law is rarely enforced. They are let enter neck deep into sewer in just underwear with a broom rather than outfitted in protective gear and mask.
Activist Bezwada Wilson says during his protest today at India Gate New Delhi that government’s massive clean India program is surely discouraging people to relieving in open but no one is looking at the situation of these workers. It’s a shame to democracy if the workers are just left to die while cleaning our sewers and septic tanks. Such a shame