A Continuing Blight and Shame – an indictment of the Indian Government
Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
The MKSS is shocked by the many disturbing reports of deaths of workers when cleaning sewers. According to the Safai Karamchari Andolan, there have been 11 deaths in 7 days of karamcharies in sewers. The government stands guilty for not implementing the law and not using its much touted technological advances to address this most inhuman and criminal use of human labour. In each specific case those responsible for making people work in such dangerous conditions must be held accountable, and cases of criminal liability must be established. Those responsible must be prosecuted as per the criminal law in force.
A government that is promoting ‘Swachh Bharat’ with so much vigour, should begin with addressing the plight of manual scavenging and use of human labour to clean the gutters which carry the excreta and filth of people who speak of sanitation. The manual scavenging and cleaning of gutters must be stopped forthwith and those displaced provided with alternative occupation.
We demand that “The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act” be law be stringently enforced with immediate effect.
Aruna Roy, Shankar Singh and Nikhil Dey on behalf of the MKSS