Three lives stuck in sewers again: Why machines can do jobs left to scavengers

by Ana Lopez

Two people died while cleaning drains in Rajkot days before the countdown. When this incident happened, there was a lot of uproar as the assembly session was going on and the government made promises, but again such an incident has happened in Gujarat’s Bharuch. Three laborers tragically died while cleaning drains in Dahej village here. Out of the 4 laborers who fell into the drain during the cleaning of the sewer line within the limits of the Gram Panchayat, 3 have died while the condition of the fourth is critical. Four laborers went down to clear the sewer line and were shifted to the hospital after their condition worsened due to suffocation.
4 laborers landed in the drain near the police station. In the meantime, there has been a stir due to the death of 3 workers. In this incident, another worker has been shifted to the hospital for treatment. As soon as the incident was reported, the police reached the spot and took action.

It is worth mentioning here that manual scavenging of faeces with human hands is prohibited. However, this work, prohibited by law, is done well and the death of laborers who have fallen into the sewers is frequent across the country. About 11 people have died in Gujarat in one year, while three more have lost their lives. The government gives some amount as compensation to the families of the dead, but does not insist on the use of modern sewage cleaning machines in every local system. For a family, its young member is more important than several lakhs. The compensation for the loss of one’s beloved child, responsible husband or father is not less than Rs. On the other hand, death occurs due to suffocation of forced lice in the sewers, but still people bear this risk for thousands of laborers.

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