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

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Vulnerability Levels of Sewerage Workers in Vijayawada Municipal Corporation

The living and working conditions of sewerage workers in the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation were documented through a sample survey of 98 workers. The Other Backward Classes and Other Caste workers outnumbered those from the Scheduled Castes, refuting the caste-based view of this occupation even while reflecting the precarious employment situation of the unskilled in Andhra Pradesh. A sizeable proportion of workers are on contract or on a timescale without any social security benefits. The working conditions, work-induced health disorders, and non-provision of safety equipment at worksites are the main reasons for the vulnerable working conditions. Low levels of education, lack of skills, and limited opportunities in the labour market restrict their mobility vertically and horizontally. About 70% of them reported financial insecurity.

Occupational Hazards in Healthcare Settings

This paper highlights the working conditions in two work chains in the public healthcare system: municipal solid-waste management and handling of hospital waste and dead bodies. While COVID-19 has exposed the hazards that workers in these sectors are exposed to, it also lays bare the historical and social hierarchies, the exploitative working conditions and intrinsic discrimination within the public healthcare system.

Caste and COVID-19

The article looks at on-ground shifts in patterns of how the state and general public are treating sanitation workers, during the CoVID-19 pandemic. Based on interviews with sanitation workers in Hyderabad and Lucknow, three trajectories are identified in municipal and societal reactions to COVID-19. A variability is seen in how state and society respond in the face of renewed caste-based stigma underscored by inaction on the part of the state to concretely recognise sanitation workers’ rights.

Municipal Corporations Across India Are Unable to Meet the Promise of Local Governance

Why do problems associated with municipal corporations remain unaddressed even after they have been identified year after year?
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