Manual Scavenging - It is pity that they have to perform such a job

  • AjitSeshadri
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Senior Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions, Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Environment Consultant located at Chennai, India
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Dear SuSanA Members.
In continuation of my post on clean up of sewers and sewer systems, I post a few pictures showing the actual mode as to how thse sewers are cleaned and mantained .
The sludge removed will be left in open for it to dry in open exposed to sun Etc. And made easy to scoop out be removed ex site.
This type of clean up and removal of sludge is practised and in the whole operation no safeties and precautions are observed.
The details are given to Members to make aware to the concerned as to how these conditions and practices are improved in future.
Well wishes.
ps: I am having trouble in attaching the concerned pictures.
Ajit

Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Senior Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Environment Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others) Chennai, India
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  • AjitSeshadri
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Senior Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions, Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Environment Consultant located at Chennai, India
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Dear SuSanA Members.

In continuation of my earlier post on clean up of sewers and sewer systems, in India,
I post a video- clip showing the actual mode as to how these sewers are cleaned and maintained .
Pl. use the link given to see the video- clip:

www.facebook.com/604960497/posts/1015779...id=q6TVXohzgWHL62uA/

It is relevant to see the 1st- 2 minutes,
( the rest 8 mins are taken up by the Volunteer Reporter explaining the lapse on the ULB Official Etc. )

the video- clip which shows as to how :
- the sludge is removed manually, using only one tool ie a scoop with a wooden handle,
- the sludge removed is left in open for it to dry in open exposed to sun Etc.
- After it is semi- dried it is removed ex site.

This type of clean up and removal of sludge is practiced and in the whole operation,
no safeties and precautions are observed.

The details are given to Members to make aware to the concerned
as to how these conditions and practices may be improved in future.

Well wishes.

Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Senior Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Environment Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others) Chennai, India
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  • Ashok
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Dear Prof Sheshadiri,
SusanA is a platform for intellectuals, knowledge and healthy interaction on Sanitation.
Please, for heaven's sake, do not make it a platform for political gain.
The video put up here is grossly out of context and highly political, in the time when elections in Delhi are round the corner.
Ashok
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  • muench
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Dear Ashok,
I don't see anything wrong with the video that Ajit linked to. I only watched the start because he said:

It is relevant to see the 1st- 2 minutes,
( the rest 8 mins are taken up by the Volunteer Reporter explaining the lapse on the ULB Official Etc. )

I also don't speak the language that is used in the video so cannot comment if it's "political". Either way, it shows manual manhole and sewer cleaning, does it not?
It's appalling to see that companies in India are seemingly still employing workers in such conditions without any concern for their health (?). I bet it's illegal but the laws are not enforced, for whatever reason.

Regards,
Elisabeth

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(Funded via consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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  • Ashok
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

In that case, I would request you to please truncate the videos after 2 minutes.
What is being said in our language is
"The present Chief Minister, Arvind Kejrival, is a corrupt man and for Rs 300 ($4) he is putting your life in jeopardy. Why do you vote for him?
etc. (Not exact translation)"
At least I find it unfit for SUSANA.
Ashok
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  • muench
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Oh, OK, I see. Which language is it? Hindi?
I don't know how to truncate such a video. One would have to download it from their Facebook page, edit it, and then upload it to Youtube, I guess.
What do other forum members think about this? Should the link to the video be removed or the video edited (I don't have the time or skills to edit it)?

Head moderator of this discussion forum
(Funded via consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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  • pkjha
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  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Dear Prof Sheshadiri
Pl avoid abusing any Chief Minister of the state / political leader on the Forum and irrelevant postings. The Forum is meant for that. India is a huge country having full spectrum of socio-economic and cultural variations of communities. The video you posted may be the exception - not the rule and such exception can be found in every country- if you have time and interest. There is strict Law in India on prohibition of Manual Scavenging ( 2013).
Regards
Pawan

Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
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  • Sittoni
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Dear Elisabeth,

I have watched the entire video. The first two minutes are certainly relevant, but serious concerns have been raised about the divisive potential of the remaining footage. I suggest you pull down the link to the video until a suitably edited version of the version is obtained.
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  • Sittoni
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

Dear Elisabeth,

I have watched the entire video. The first two minutes are certainly relevant, but serious concerns have been raised about the divisive potential of the remaining footage. I suggest you pull down the link to the video until a suitably edited version of the version is obtained.
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  • paresh
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

I agree that the video shared by Prof. Sheshadri was made with political intent, the background being the procurement of sewer cleaning trucks by Govt. of Delhi and a scheme for free emptying of OSS in Delhi's colonies as reported
www.financialexpress.com/india-news/delh...ed-colonies/1765732/
But can we afford to neglect this heinous practice? Also in my opinion, we need to engage with politics because all development is certainly political and technology (through its entire cycle from development to adoption) is not apolitical.
We are all aware that despite strong legislation, manual scavenging is a reality in India. As also pointed out in the video, governments typically hire contractors for the job and turn a blind eye when human labour is employed for the task. Prof. Sharada Prasad from Azim Premji University has documented the work of sanitation across the country through multiple photo essays
1. Cleaning of sewers in Hyderabad - sharadaprasad.com/essays/sewers
2. Cleaning of stormwater drains - sharadaprasad.com/essays/stormsewage
3. Emptying pits and septic tanks - sharadaprasad.com/essays/trucks
4. Dry toilet cleaning - sharadaprasad.com/essays/nosewers
In all these stories, the inhuman working condition and poverty of sanitation workers is evident. None of them are seen to be using PPE. In my readings on the sector, I have not come across any study that has tried to understand the reasons for the same. We simply assume that PPE are not used to save money on the equipment ignoring the fact that their inappropriate design may also be a reason. As I understand, most of these were designed in the industrial world where the weather conditions are very different. Probably, a more suitable design of PPE is needed.
Yet, the need to enter sewer/manhole/pit should be extremely rare and I am aware of atleast one technology (Bandicoot, more details at www.genrobotics.org/bandicoot2 ) developed by students from Kerala.
So certainly, while there may be some gaps in design of PPE, technology to reduce human labour to clean sewers.pits is certainly available. The challenge is its wide-spread acceptance and use by governments, which are political decisions. In my humble opinion, this heinous practice cannot be eliminated without engaging with its politics.

Paresh Chhajed-Picha
PhD Researcher, IIT-Bombay
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  • paresh
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Re: Emerging issues of Sanitation Workers and Manual Scavengers

I also agree that we can get into all these issues without name-calling or targetting any specific chief minister. At the same time, I also believe that members of this forum will look at relevant issues and ignore the name-calling, targetting etc.

Paresh Chhajed-Picha
PhD Researcher, IIT-Bombay
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