Swachh Bharat: the campaign fails to eradicate Manual Scavengers

Swachh Bharat is one of the strongest pillars of four and a half years of Modi government. Swachh Bharat Mission received applause from overseas too but still, this mission was considered to be a failure of the government initiative. Swachh Bharat campaign main motto is to eliminate open defecation from the country and provide better and the best sanitation system by improvising the pipeline facilities and providing clean water to the rural areas. Eradication of manual scavengers and developing the modern and scientific methods of solid waste management were the toughest task for the government to attain its success in this campaign. Swachhagrahis or Swachh Karmcharis (the one who manually cleans the sewage and septic tanks) were not considered or included under this mission since there work is for Swachh Bharat but under unhygienic and disastrous sewage and septic tanks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that “Swachh Bharat is a public movement this is the need of the hour and a change in our behavior is a must.”The change to be implemented in the life’s of the Swachhagrahis why should they have to clean the feces of others manually because they are just paid for that. We should eradicate the custom of manual cleaning of sewage and septic tanks by implementing new ideas and technologies in the cleaning process. The government mission is to eliminate open defecation by providing toilets to the households but now the question arises who will clean those septic tanks and pits no proper sewage connection was made so far and it is becoming tougher for the Swachh karamcharis to clean the pits and septic tanks. The government successfully implemented Swachh Bharat mission by constructing Toilets, Instead of modernizing the sewer lines and septic tanks and investing money and energy on smart techniques of sanitation, the government had added more problems in the people’s life. The government has no concern over the life of people who were dying under the process of clean India. According to the reports, one manual scavenger was dying once in five days because of the unhealthy poisonous septic tanks and sewage cleaning without any protection. Now the question comes who will be held responsible for their death? Does the government concentrated on addressing these issues or else does it provide any safety measures for the scavengers. The Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA), a national movement committed to the total eradication of manual scavenging and rehabilitation of all scavengers with dignified occupations, collected data and found that 1,470 people have died cleaning sewer lines and septic tanks in the past few years. In fact, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment itself told the Lok Sabha in 2017 that the country saw 300 scavengers died that year. Of these, 12 deaths occurred in Delhi and 140 in Tamil Nadu, which was the highest. Today the prime minister of India claimed in his recent tweet that “Moments I’ll cherish for my entire life! Honoring remarkable Safai Karamcharis, who have taken the lead when it comes to realizing the dream of a Swachh Bharat! I salute each and every person making a contribution towards a Swachh Bharat”.He also appreciated the scavengers in keeping the Kumbh Mela clean throughout day and night with their tireless efforts by awarding and honoring them under the great platform of “Swachh Kumbh, Swachh Aabhaar”. The government celebrates the success of clean Kumbh Mela but fails to address the issues and troubles faced by these scavengers in their daily work cycle.

Swachh Bharat: the campaign fails to eradicate Manual Scavengers