Tag Archives: Safai Karmachari Andolan

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

Silencing Caste, Sanitising Oppression – Understanding Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

The Hindu notions of purity and pollution, inextricably linked with the caste system and the practice of untouchability, underlie the unsanitary practices in Indian society. These beliefs perpetuate the oppression of the “polluted castes,” who are forced to undertake manual scavenging, unclog manholes and clean other people’s filth. The availability of cheap Dalit labour to do these dehumanising jobs can be cited as one of the reasons why development of toilet facilities and a modern garbage and sewage management system have been neglected so far. As long as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan attempts to delink the relationship between caste and sanitation, its lofty goal of cleaning India will remain unachievable.

(Read the full text here http://www.epw.in/system/files/pdf/2015_50/44/Silencing_Caste_Sanitising_Oppression.pdf)