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Magsaysay awardee criticizes Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programme

MYSURU: Criticizing the construction of public toilets under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA), Ramon Magsaysay awardee and Safai Karmachari Andolan national convener Bezwada Wilson said it leads to manual scavenging.


Attending the Press Day celebration organized by Mysuru District Journalists Association at Nagapura Girijana Ashrama Shaale at Hunsur taluk on Sunday, he said, ” The safai karmacharis are forcefully made to lift human excreta after the program was initiated. As only some castes are involved in cleanliness, pushing them to manual scavenging is a violation of human rights.”


 Wilson said he would write a letter to Union government to take measures to stop the construction of toilets under the abhiyan. “If no action is initiated by union government, then activists from the andolan will start demolishing the toilets from October”, he warned.


He said manual scavenging is prevalent in many other countries as well, and cited caste and patriarchy system in the society as its factors.


“Many states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Maharashtra still have manual scavenging. The safai karmacharis are given just Rs 30 per month for the work. As per SKA survey 1.6 lakh people are still do manual scavenging, out of which 92% are women”, he said.

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Comment (1)


    Where there are many manual scavengers, instead of finding ways to abolish the work and rehabilitating manual scavengers in other work, the construction of toilets in swachch’ Bharat abhiyan will not lead to the removal of manual scavenging. Most workers are women. They should be given alternative work and their fundemental alright of life with dignity should be protected.

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