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

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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.

Scavenging for the State

A study of sewage workers and toilet cleaners employed with the Pune Municipal Corporation shows how solid waste management is narrowly focused on dry latrine cleaning. One needs to urgently reform solid waste management system and improve the working conditions of people who are employed in cleaning our cities.

Innovating Waste Management

Six towns in Maharashtra—Lonavla, Shirur, Deolali Pravara, Umred, Vengurla and Sangola, made remarkable achievements over the last one year in waste disposal and management. A combination of proactive and punitive measures ensured that waste management is seen as part of a larger set of social problems and community initiatives.

Public-Private Partnership in Local Self-Governance

The near-breakdown of public services in the metropolitan and other urban areas in India and the inability of the municipalities in providing satisfactory level of services is leading to the redrawing of the trajectory of public goods provision and its management in recent years. A case in point is the experiment undertaken by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in its largest wholesale fruit market Falpatti, to involve the private sector in market waste management.
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