ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sanitation Workers

This refers to the article by Vivek Kumar entitled “Whose Cleanliness?” (EPW, 1 November 2014). He has given a vivid analysis of the “Clean India Campaign”, and its relation with caste. These are indeed correct and convincing. However, there are some important points which should be understood in the context of the Clean India Campaign. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) call to make India clean by 2019 is farfetched.

Even though efforts were taken in the past by the Indian government through enacting the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 to eradicate the heinous caste-based occupation of manual scavenging, the so-called ex-untouchables are still engaged in it for their livelihood. We should also question as to what this Swachh Bharat Abhiyan offers the sanitation workers who are working without any safety measures in various parts of the country.

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