Our civilisation has managed to reached the moon today and yet five manual scavengers die every day in our country. Manual scavenging continues to be a traditional legacy of suffocation and stigma with a great amount of suffering . India, a country with a population of about 1.4 billion has almost over 1.3 million people working as manual scavengers. From drains and sewers to septic tanks and railway tracks, and hospitals ,millions of manual scavengers are cleaning, carrying and disposing of human excreta even today in many parts of the country.According to Google manual scavenging as an ‘inhumane occupation ’.And yet the Indian society still follow such practises in the name of societal structure and tradition .

Manual scavenging has been seen as a caste-based occupation from over the centuaries which involves an unbreakable hierarchy system where manual scavenging is actually considered as a ‘privilege’ that can only be honored by the Dalits. Even with Article 15 of the Indian constitution prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, race, place of birth or caste and Article 17 abolishing untouchability and it’s practices in any form, the Dalits the weakest session of our society still remains to be the highest employees of this inhumane occupation and suffering that comes along with this occupation.

Just imagine when your car passes through a nearby drain or sweage treatmwnt plant , how the smell forces us to immediately shut our windows and, now multiply that smell into a 10000 times and that’s exactly the working environment of a manual scavenger every day. Even with the manual scavenging Acts of 1993 and 2013 of the Indian constitutio­­nhave officially banned this practice yet, Indian Railways a government ran authority still continue to be the largest employer of manual scavengers. Manual Scavengers are not just the male oriented today but even include women today . 90% of the manual scavengers are women who clean dry latrines by hand and carry them on their head.

Our country has achieved independence a long time back and is world's fastest growing economy and yet we are talking about the existence of this practice in 2018. Isn't it shamefull? Are we really a developing nation ?

Manual scavengers too deserves a life with dignity and safety . This battle is huge and the time to act is definitely now. If today we dont stand for our own citizens and fellow country mates . Can we even be termed as good citizens ?