Manual scavenging raises its ugly head again

Manual scavenging raises its ugly head again

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 2015-12-22 18:47 Bengaluru: While the government and authorities are showing keen interest to collect Swatch Bharat cess from the citizens, the city witnessed a most inhuman and dangerous act on Tuesday, December 22, as a coolie worker was seen doing manual scavenging without taking any proper safety measures.The incident occurred at around 10. 30 am when the man was found working on the sewage water manhole and trying to lift the manhole water without even wearing the gloves. The worker was neither working under BBMP nor for a private contractor. All this happened after the residents at the 1st A Main Road in Byatarayana Pura New Extension in Ward No. 157 requested a city resident named Subbaraya to solve the manhole problem.The manhole was seen fully filled with the sewage water, which had also been overflowing on the road. Subbaraya tried to get inside the manhole, but could not lift the sewage water upward, using bucket. Then he just lifted the water using a mug with bare hands.Speaking to Bfirst.in, the residents of the area said, “we had called our corporator and requested many times to solve the issue. We have also given about six complaints to the BBMP control room. Since we did not get any response from the administration, we finally brought a coolie worker to fix the manhole problem.”Eventually, the BBMP workers arrived at the spot soon after the worker failed to lift the entire water and finished the repair work of the manhole, using necessary equipment. Speaking to Bfirst.in, Subbaraya said, “I work for money and whenever the public request me to work I used to go and work there. I do not know what kind of safety equipment I should use for this work. I am not given any training on it by any authorities.”Meanwhile, Uma N, Corporator of Gali Anjaney Ward (158) said that she was not aware of this incident as she was in a meeting this morning. “We have got many complaints from the public on this regard and we have been looking after the problem. We have also given the request to the BWSSB office. But I was not really aware of the people's plan to assign a coolie worker,” she added, requesting the public not to take this kind of initiative.However, the incident shocked many people. Citizens who spoke to Bfirst.in on this issue told, “Private coolie workers are not aware of the consequences and health issues related to manual scavenging. They are only looking to earn the livelihood with doing such works. This practice needs to be eradicated.