The Delhi government on Thursday provided 200 skilled manual scavengers with sewer cleaning vehicles, turning them into ‘sani-entrepreneurs’.
The Kejriwal government took the laudable step in an effort to rid the capital city of the menace of manual scavenging. Terming the event as ‘historic’, CM Arvind Kejriwal emphasised on the need to secure a life of dignity for everyone. “These machines will put an end to the practice of sanitation workers entering manholes and septic tanks for cleaning,” Kejriwal mentioned in his speech at the inauguration event.
Giving a life of dignity
Speaking to Efforts For Good, an official from Delhi Jal Board informs, “We have allotted the machines to around 192 families who used to practise manual scavenging and were in dire need of rehabilitation work after government legally prohibited the practice. We identified the families who have suffered casualties, injuries or other mishaps due to manual scavenging.”
“Delhi is the first state in India where such a progressive step was enacted for uplifting these underprivileged families,” he adds.
Rajendra Pal Gautam, Minister of SC-ST Welfare, said that the Delhi government has always been committed to working towards effective upliftment of the lesser privileged Scheduled Caste people, and this step was another indicator of the same.
When the whole nation is seized of war mongering, a silent revolution for rehabilitation of sewerage workers by equipping them with sophisticated machines takes place in Delhi when no other fullfledged state has ever conceived of this war against manual scavenging pic.twitter.com/5pHZcaUFK1
— दिनेश ڈینش ਦਿਨੇਸ਼ (@DineshMohaniya) February 28, 2019
How the machine works
The technology has been developed by Delhi Jal Board engineers Bhupesh Kumar and V.K. Grover who designed compact vehicles fitted with machinery for quick, hassle-free and effective cleaning of sewers. The vehicles will be operated by the 200 manual scavengers who were beneficiaries of the scheme.
“The machines comprise all the essential types of equipment for sewer cleaning including machinery for hydraulic, jetting, grabbing and roding work. Manholes up to 30 feet depth can be properly cleaned up and all the residue sewage waste will be brought out to a trolley and disposed of in a sustainable manner. This is an international technology and has been implemented for the first time in India. The vehicles are small, not more than 14 feet in height, which will enable them to penetrate narrow lanes as well. These vehicles will be deployed on-ground within the next few days,” states an official from Delhi Jal Board.
Delhi Jal Board CEO Anil Kumar Singh said that the machines will allow the board to ensure even the sewage in the congested lanes of the city is cleaned regularly.
Efforts For Good take
Manual scavenging is perhaps the most inhuman practice existing even in 2019. Not only is it hazardous and risky, but the work is also highly degrading. The manual scavengers face the worst form of social discrimination for generations and are deprived of their basic human rights. The Delhi government’s step has definitely set a benchmark for the rest of India to follow. Efforts For Good hopes all manual scavengers get the chance to lead a life of dignity and respect.