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Manual Scavenging: An Unaddressed Issue

Manual Scavenging: An Unaddressed Issue

While there are several jobs that are given on the basis of merit in India, there are many that are assigned on the basis of caste and religion too, one of which is manual scavenging. Despite the prohibition of the inhumane job, you can still find multiple people going down drains to earn a living. There are multiple NGOs working on water and sanitation that offer necessary equipment and aid for the manual scavengers. However, there are several unfortunate individuals who don’t get access to the basic amenities.

A necessity to run the country but often disregarded by society, manual scavenging has been not just a practice of cleaning waste but also cleaning away the respect that every individual deserves.

The Meaning

Mostly practised in India, Manual Scavenging is the term used for manually carrying, cleaning, disposing or generally handling human excreta in an open drain, septic tank, pit, sewer or an unsanitary toilet.

Manual Scavenging is majorly present in India where it is influenced by caste to a great extent. A majority of the manual scavengers belong to the Dalit community and are addressed as Lalbegi, Chuhada, Hadi, Har, etc depending on the state.

They are not given nor can they afford the necessary safety tools to carry out the job. The common tools that they use to clean gutters, septic tanks, sewers, etc are buckets and a sack. They use the bucket to collect the waste into the sack and manually transport it to the place where it is required to be disposed of.

Health Issues And Discrimination

There are multiple critical health issues that are faced by manual scavengers such as eye and ear infection, poor vision, Tuberculosis, Bronchitis, Asthma, Typhoid, Nausea and many other diseases that arise from dealing with human excreta. Despite the risky nature of their jobs, they are not compensated for any injury that occurs while working. Help the ones experiencing any of the mentioned or other diseases by connecting with a doctor or a medical NGO that can help.

Apart from health issues, one of the most disheartening things that manual scavengers face is social discrimination. A majority of them belong to the backward or Dalit class and are considered to be untouchables. They are made to reside in separate living areas that are often unhygienic

Here’s Why Manual Scavenging Is Slavery

  • It Is Based On Caste

Its a form of labour that is based on caste which involves people from a low caste. They have to face discrimination on many occasions, even for availing basic human rights.

  • Obliged To Do Other Jobs

Apart from their job, they are also expected to perform several other low tasks such as disposing of dead cattle, cats, etc.

  • Low Wages

Manual scavengers are paid extremely low remuneration for the work they do.

Education, rehabilitation, social awareness, enforcement of laws, etc. are some of the ways to put an end to Manual Scavenging. If youre searching for ‘NGO nearby me online to offer assistance to the scavengers, then VASTRA is your answer.

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