Freedom – An Ironic Word and doesn’t apply to all! The plight of the people who lost their lives in Manual Scavenging


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Thus the tri-color flag proudly triumphantly raised 72 years ago. It was a treat to the eyes as well as plenty of struggled souls. Of course, how can the victory’s taste after long shed blood can be bad? The victory denoting Independence! It’s been so long since August 15, 1947, that now we doubt the complete Independence. Amid the celebration, there are still some voices to be heard out. The people who die out of Manuel Scavenging! Those are the people who are needed to be head out. Let’s think that we were asked to clean off the drainage and septic tanks manually! That disgusts us to the core, right? Thus, it’s not to be ignored and they are also just one among us.

The manual scavenging was banned two decades ago. Yet the practices of manually draining the sewage and septic tanks have not stopped. It is evident when about 88 people died of manual scavenging in the past three years according to the Ministery of Social Justice and Empowerment. As per the records, about 620 deaths were recorded in 15 states in India since 1993. In the state of Tamil Nadu alone, the highest number of 144 deaths were recorded. So far 620 cases have been identified. Out of which, compensation has been provided for 445 cases. The partial compensation has been given to the families of 58 victims. However, even today no compensation is granted has been granted in 117 cases. For the year 2017-18, about 52 cases were left without any compensation.

“A shocking number of 53,598 manual scavengers have been identified since December 2013, despite the act being enabled to prohibit manual scavenging”, says MP Vishnu Dayal Ram. However, no reports from any State/Union territories have raised a report regarding the issue. It is to be noted that these reports and deaths were only from 15 states. Some states claimed that there is no manual scavenging, whereas most of the states have not yet reported.


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