Weekly Current Affairs

More toilets only mean more scavengers, says Bezwada Wilson [Social Justice]

  • The Ramon Magasaysay award has turned the spotlight on manual scavengers again but the shadow of Swacch Bharat looms over them, says one of this year’s awardees, Bezwada Wilson — one of the founders and convener of the Safai Karmachari Andolan, a civil society movement that aims to eradicate manual scavenging.
  • The activist is scathing about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fl agship scheme. What irks him about the mass clean India campaign is the grand plan of building millions of toilets across the country.
  • Many of these toilets will be constructed in areas where sanitation facilities, including septic tanks and running water, are not available. Who will remove the waste there? Mr Wilson asserted that his organisation would demolish toilets which require human scavengers .
  • According to Mr. Wilson, there are two lakh manual scavengers in India today, nearly all of them concentrated in North India.
  • This is due to the rampant practice of caste discrimination in the north.
  • Nearly 40 per cent of the country is poor and yet only Dalits are involved in manual scavenging.