Prohibition Of Manual Scavenging

Prohibition Of Manual Scavenging

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Roxanne Po started this petition to National Human Rights Commission and

Indian laws created and implemented poorly is not a new thing. Hence, we call out the Citizens of this Land, for another one such dehumanizing practice in place since 65,000 years ago and how the laws fail to solve the problem even in 2021 – Manual Scavenging.

What is Manual Scavenging? I’m sure many of you haven’t even heard this term earlier, which is why we need to bring light to it as much as possible. It is a practice of cleaning human excreta with bare hands from an insanitary latrine, open drain, a sewer, a septic tank or a pit. 

The question then stands as to who are these people? Why do they do it even after the law bans the activity?

Most people who are employed for this inhuman practice are from the Dalit Caste and among them the women are victimized. Furthermore, the lowest among the Dalit community – The Valmiki are the worst exploited. These people have no choice but to work for whatever they could get their hands on to survive in this society. Moreover, this job is also passed on from generations and therefore the community has no choice but to work in the same.

Laws such as the recent Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, has been passed but there seem to be no respite for the people who are still employed for this job. Although, a data estimate in 2018 put the number of "sanitation workers" in India at 5 million, and 50 percent of them being women. However, not all sanitation workers would be manual scavengers. Another estimate from 2018 put the figure at one million manual scavengers, stating that the number is "unknown and declining" and 90 percent of them are women.

These people are prone to various diseases and poisonous gases which have been brutal as a data of 2017 – 18 of the Safai Karamchari Andolan found the average age of a deceased sewer worker being around 32 years of age. Despite laws, states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, have been employing people for cleaning purposes.

We as active Citizens of India want the Government to take cognizance of this exploitation of vulnerable people and ban this activity on practice and not just on paper and instead use mechanized ways for cleaning tanks and pits. Furthermore, the government should also rehabilitate them and employ them in other dignified positions. 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!