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October 23, 2020
1 month

Despite laws, workers in the field in India still face stigma and are devoid of essential rights. Do you agree with this view? Comment (200 Words)

Refer - The Hindu

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IAS Parliament 6 days


·       While civil society started a movement in the 1990s to abolish dry latrines, the focus now is on manhole deaths and provision of safety equipment to sanitation workers.

·       If, on the one hand, the civil society has tended to approach this issue as a collective problem that needs to be addressed by the State, on the other, the current ruling dispensation seems to be framing the issue as a spectacle in the form of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and is addressing the problem in terms of an obstacle in the way of tourism promotion.

·       In 1993, the then government promulgated an Act prohibiting the construction of unsanitary dry latrines and employing manual scavengers.

·       The government’s description of dry latrine was a problem, as it defined dry latrine as “latrine other than a water-seal latrine”. Manual scavenging was not just a practice related to dry latrines, but also to insanitary latrines and open defecation.

·       Until the introduction of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act in 1993, State governments had a post called ‘scavengers’. A scavenger’s job was to manually remove human excreta in households and designated places. The local authorities levied scavenging tax on houses for availing this service. But after the Act was introduced, State governments themselves became agencies that would enforce prohibition of the construction or usage of dry latrines.

·       Ten years later, the Safai Karamchari Andolan, a social movement that campaigned against manual scavenging, along with other organisations, filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court.

·       Workforce in sanitation departments is recruited via open competition. The local administration usually approaches particular caste members during such hiring. The situation is so dire that while we find volunteers to distribute food and undertake rescue operations during natural calamities, hardly any volunteer offers to do clean-up work or dispose of dead bodies.

·       There are no vehicles for sanitation workers to travel to their designated workspaces, and they have to either walk for kilometres or use garbage vehicles . This is a forced choice and is connected to the dignity of a worker.


Venkateshwaran R 1 month

Kindly provide feedback. Thank you

IAS Parliament 1 month

Good attempt. Keep Writing.

Venkateshwaran R 1 month

Thank you Sir
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