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

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An Insight into the Manhole


The 2023–24 finance budget has made an important reference to the need for the mechanisation of the manhole, to which it has, as usual, given a catchy name: NAMASTE, which stands for National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem. However, the proposed policy seems to cover only the surface of the manhole, in terms of the fatality that it causes to those who are trapped to death in these manholes. Whereas there is a greater need to look into the manhole that produces much dirtier, obnoxious, and precarious forms of labour. The EPW editorial in the current issue has already reflected on some of the neglected aspects of this policy.

The mechanisation of the manhole could be seen with some affirmative implications for the language of rights. In the present context of neo-liberalism replete with precarity of jobs, those who are forced to remove the night soil consider this as their right. Due to globalisation and the lack of clean alterative jobs, sanitation workers have been pushed into the same sewer-related jobs that they would have liked to give up at the first opportunity.

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Updated On : 18th Feb, 2023
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