Tag Archives: Bhim Yatra

‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan invisibilises the linkage of Caste and Sanitation and glamourises broom among Scavenging Communities’ – Bezwada Wilson

In Conversation with Bezwada Wilson, National Convener of Safai Karmachari Andolan

The 125 day Bhim Yatra which started from Dibrugarh and traveresed 30 states and 500 districts to reach Delhi is now over.  As everybody knows it culminated in a big rally coupled with people’s hearing where families of those victims who died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks shared their plight at the hands of state as well as civil society. The call of this Bhim Yatra raised by Safai Karmacharis – ‘Stop Killing Us’ – would could keep reverberating for quite some time. (https://kafila.org/2016/04/14/bhim-yatra-so-that-there-are-no-more-killings/)

Here follows an interview with Bezwada Wilson, National Convener of Safai Karmachari Andolan

 How do you see the impact of  ‘Bhim Yatra’ ?

As far as those people who are still condemned to do scavenging is concerned, the 125 day Bhim Yatra has made two significant impacts :

– It has made people aware that a new act (2013 act) has come into existence for elimination of manual scavenging and they should make use of it for their liberation.

– Second significant impact is that people are realising that we should not do this work, we should leave this work altogether. Babasaheb’s teachings that depressed classes should leave all such professions which are stigmatised and which further help stigmatise them has reached broader cross sections of people engaged in cleaning and scavenging. The slogan ‘ Leave the Broom, Take the Pen’ is slowly reverberating across people especially the younger ones. Continue reading ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan invisibilises the linkage of Caste and Sanitation and glamourises broom among Scavenging Communities’ – Bezwada Wilson

Bhim Yatra .. so that there are no more killings

Protestors set fire to containers representing septic tanks cleaning which manual scavengers have and continue to lose their lives even today ( Photo Courtesy : http://www.youthkiawaaz.com)

Rarely does Jantar-Mantar, the place in the heart of Delhi, gets ‘enlivened’ with people who share very similar type of tragedy – one should say man made tragedy.The culmination of 125 day Bhim Yatra – led by Safai Karmchari Aandolan – which had started from Dibrugarh in the North East on 10 th December and had traversed around 500 districts and 30 states, proved to be one such occasion. (13 th April 2016)

The big public meeting organised at Jantar Mantar, attended by hundreds of safai karmcharis from different parts of the country and many individuals, activists who are sympathetic to their cause, was just another way to celebrate Dr Ambedkar’s 125 th birth anniversary, a day earlier. Special focus of the Yatra was on deaths in sewers and septic tanks and the key slogan was ‘Stop Killing us in Dry Latrines, Sewers and Septic tanks’. In fact, most of the people who were sitting on the podium belonged to such families only, who had lost their near-dear ones in cleaning sewer or septic tanks. Continue reading Bhim Yatra .. so that there are no more killings