|Dalits are made to clean the Uyyakondan canal without any safety gears in the city of Trichy in Tamil Nadu. They are forced to clean plastic, acid waste, dead bodies, and human excreta from water, with their bare hands.
Even after passing of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act in 1993, the Government is not taking any measure to safeguard those who are risking their lives by cleaning the gutter. Whenever there is a waste rising in the canal, the government approaches these same people who are otherwise most often neglected, to clean it.
The Caste system in India prescribes that all menial and filthy jobs be done by the ‘lowest’ caste. In continuation of this ‘tradition’, sanitation workers around the country are almost always Dalits. This we believe is a continuation of untouchability practices. There is an urgent need to put an end to these acts.