Tag Archives: Safai Karmachari Andolan

India: former manual scavengers demand apology from government

Women scavengers gather during the 'Samajik Parivartan Rally' in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: S. Subramanium, The Hindu

Hundreds of former manual scavengers rose as one at New Delhi’s Constitution Club to demand an apology from the government for the wrongs done to the community. “Apologise now for the violation of our dignity,” they said.

In late September 2010, the former scavengers had left Delhi in five buses heading out to cover 20 states on a Samajik Parivartan Yatra (National Rally for Social Transformation). Their aim was to promote the eradication of manual scavenging. The rally was organised by the Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA), whose activities had helped to eradicate manual scavenging in the five states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana over the past two years. “We are hoping to add Punjab and Rajasthan to the list soon”, said SKA convenor Bezwada Wilson.

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“No human being should carry someone else’s shit”

Harriette Bentil of Water Cube.tv interviews Mr Wilson Bezwada of Safai Karmachari Andolan, a national campaign movement working for the eradication of manual scavenging in India.

Manual scavenger in New Delhi. Photo: Safai Karmachari Andolan

Manual scavenger in New Delhi. Photo: Safai Karmachari Andolan

His movement is working in 18 states in India, where around 1.2 million people have “to carry someone else’s shit”, the worst job in the world and a social crime.

He puts out a strong call for action to Indians and global community to stop this inhuman practice by December2010. He is also calling on the countries coming to the Commonwealth games scheduled to start in New Delhi in September 2010 to put pressure on the Indian government to stop postponing solving this problem.

See also Harriete’s story on Wilson’s presentation in the afternoon on 18 August 2009 during the 2009 Stockholm World Water Week.