Plight of Indian Sewer Workers

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Shredder, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Shredder

    Shredder Regular Member

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    The World’s Worst Job?

    India's sewage workers are certainly in the running.
    By Daniel Pepper | Newsweek Web Exclusive
    Nov 1, 2007 | Updated: 1:47 p.m. ET Nov 1, 2007
    [​IMG]


    Rakesh sits in a low crouch at the bottom of a seven-foot-deep manhole, sloshing away in a swirl of human waste and sediment. Equipped with a hoe and a steel bar, and wearing only a pair of loose purple underpants, Rakesh (who uses only one name) empties the thick black sludge from a clogged sewer into a bucket that his fellow crew members hoist up and dump in the middle of a narrow road.

    A small mountain of decaying excrement accumulates between the manhole and a rickety wooden vegetable cart. Two co-workers reach down and yank Rakesh out by his sore, extended arms, his body splattered with putrid muck. At 27, with a wife, three young daughters and a monthly income of about $100, he has been a sewage worker for the Delhi Jal (Water) Board for the past 10 years.

    Rakesh stumbles out into the midday light, too dazed to speak. "The first thing you notice is the unbearable smell," explains his co-worker Rajender Kumar. "Next are the cockroaches, and then the rats—big rats." He complains of skin rashes and eye soreness, respiratory and liver problems.

    By birth, Rajender, Rakesh and their colleagues are members of the Valmiki community, the bottom wrung of the social hierarchy in India, which dates back thousands of years, a subcategory of "untouchable" Dalits. Because of discrimination and lack of opportunities, they work one of the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs in the subcontinent, if not the world.

    Their homes are both down the road and centuries removed from India's gleaming technology parks and buoyantly youthful call centers. Some 800 million Indians scrape by on less than $2 a day.

    New Delhi was not built to accommodate its current population of about 16 million. With hundreds of thousands pouring in from rural areas annually, its sewers—about 3,700 miles of them—are a mess, and the workers tasked with keeping the waste flowing unobstructed (half of it empties into the nearby Yamuna River) regularly put their lives on the line. "The whole system is going to collapse in the next two years if it continues as it is now," says Mahendra Kumar, a junior engineer for Delhi Jal.

    Please also read pages 2 and 3,
    World?s Worst Job? Sewage | Newsweek Environment | Newsweek.com
    World?s Worst Job? Sewage | Newsweek Environment | Newsweek.com
     
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  3. Shredder

    Shredder Regular Member

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    The Garbage Trap

    [video=google;3070120386399623186]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3070120386399623186#[/video]



    View the video fully, its very disturbing and sad the condition in which these municipal workers work in, not only in Pune but in all cities/towns/villages of the country,

    Why is the tax collected not being used to buy equipment like protective clothing, masks etc.,
    Why is no one bothered about this/even the media has not focused on this exploitation and suffering,

    The exploiters who are in charge at the top don't care about these workers, they don't care that a human has to immerse himself almost naked into a hole full of human excreta to get the "job" done, these poor men/women are condemned to a cursed life full of health problems and social alienation, is this tolerated because this "work" has been done by their "caste" since time immemorial?

    As long as exploitation and suffering like this exists all the development and progress achieved is of absolutely no use,

    My fellow Indian members, what can we do to stop this suffering?
     
  4. Shredder

    Shredder Regular Member

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  5. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Sewer desilting machines launched

    http://www.hindu.com/2008/04/22/stories/2008042259520500.htm


    Staff Reporter



    Workers need not enter into manholes for cleaning







    — Photo: M. Vedhan

    MACHINE POWER: Local Administration Minister M. K. Stalin commissions a sewage desilting machine in Chennai on Monday. (From left) Mayor M. Subramanian, MAWS Secretary K. Deenabandu and Metrowater managing director Shivdas Meena are in the picture.

    CHENNAI: Nearly 300 sewer workers, including contract labourers, in the city will now be spared the trouble of entering into manholes to clean the clogged sewerage lines as Chennai Metrowater has procured three machines to desilt the sewer system.

    Local Administration Minister M. K. Stalin commissioned the equipment at a function held on Wallajah Road on Monday.

    The three machines, each costing Rs.5.85 lakh, would be used to remove the silt deposited in the sewer network covering nearly 2,700 km.

    A Metrowater official said the equipment, comprising a rod attached with a collecting pan, would be operated by the workers from outside the manholes to remove the silt. The equipment can be used up to a depth of 32 feet.

    They would benefit the sewer staff working on field and 185 sewage pumping stations across the city.

    In the first phase, three machines are being introduced. After reviewing their performance for three months, more such machines would be procured to cover the nearly 78,000 manholes in the city, the official said.

    Since the machine would take in the silt, the present practice of heaping up the silt would be avoided.

    The existing manual cleaning of the manholes was to facilitate an easy entry of hosepipe from the jetrodding machine used in removing the silt. Municipal Administration and Water Supply Secretary K. Deenabandu and Metrowater managing director Shivdas Meena participated in the launch function.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The main problem with Indians is that we are high on personal hygiene and disgraceful in maintaining community hygiene.

    We shove all garbage on the road, spit or empty pails from the windows/ balconies onto the road, getting pedestrians drenched. urinate wherever we feel like and so on.

    There is a crying need for civic sense.

    One should also use garbage bags separate for wet waste and separate for dry waste and drop it in the street vat.

    It will help the municipal workers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  7. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    And it will not change anytime soon....it is cultural habit to not look after what is not owned personally by us.
     

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