This piece of news surely comes as a welcome sign where some of our governments are waking up and taking note for value of humans, especially men in India. The Rajasthan Government has instructed functionaries to prevent manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, asking them to clean it only by using machines.
The state government led by Ashok Gehlot has prohibited manual cleaning of septic tanks and sewers in the state. The Chief Minister of one of the largest states in the country on Monday made an announcement where he instructed officials to clean the tanks and sewers only by machines and that no cleanliness worker should be made doing it manually.
Gehlot also addressed the officials to make sure that there should be no more deaths due to manual cleaning of sewer and septic tanks problems. He quoted,
All district collectors and city corporation officials have been ordered to ensure that no worker has to get inside the chamber for cleaning. This work should be ensured completely through machines. No incident of any death because of getting inside the chamber for cleaning of sewerage should happen.
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People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), as the name suggests works for people’s rights and liberties. Hearing this statement from Raj CM, the PUCL is ecstatic and has welcomed the decision with open arms. They have praised how the government is thinking and focusing on the betterment of everybody.
PUCL also gave a statement on the matter and quoted,
This decision of the state government is extremely commendable and is a big victory for the cleanliness worker agitation.
CM Ashok Gehlot keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation, praised the cleanliness workers. He also gave them credit for the work they’ve done while in the pandemic times and otherwise. Gehlot particularly credited the men for the work they have done as they participated in preventing the spread of Coronavirus in the state along with doctors, nurses, police, and many more people and professionals we can’t forget. He also sent his gratitude to them for the participation they had shown for forming the stature and respect of the Rajasthan state in the country. Gehlot said,
Because of the spirit of dedication with which cleanliness workers and people’s representatives of city corporations have worked, we have been successful in stopping the spread of corona infection. In the fight against corona along with doctors, nursing personnel, Anganwadi workers and police, their efforts have raised the stature and respect of Rajasthan in the country.
Sewer and Tank Deaths In Past 5-Years
This death toll could be referred to understand how it was important for such strict decisions to be taken. The deaths of such Safai Karmacharies (cleanliness workers) over the last 5 years have increased to a great extent, and hence, it was a essential for the government to bring in amendments to the existing methods.
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As reported by The Indian Express, nearly 376 men have died in the past five years while cleaning sewers and tanks. The sewage death toll was 57 in the year 2015, combining the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. In the year 2016, it fell down to 48, which was a good sign. However, the next year, the number almost doubled the existing one. In 2017, the number of deaths went up to 93. Similarly, in 2018, the numbers again fell down drastically to 68. Despite stringent measures adopted by various state governments, deaths were still continuing. In 2019, the number of deaths ranked up to 110, which was again almost double to the previous year’s numbers. On February 1, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that India will eliminate the usage of manual cleaning of sewer systems and septic tanks.
Sewage cleaning is a job exclusively done by Men in India and no women empowerment champions have ever demanded equality for the same. Death of our Sewage Warriors, while on the job, was merely reduced to statistics and automating this will surely ensure respect and value of Men in the country.