43 People Have Died Due To Manual Scavenging This Year, Says Safai Karmachari Andolan’s Bezwada Wilson On Kaun Banega Crorepati

43 People Have Died Due To Manual Scavenging This Year, Says Safai Karmachari Andolan’s Bezwada Wilson On Kaun Banega Crorepati

Amitabh Bachchan, Campaign Ambassador of NDTV-Dettol’s Banega Swasth India Campaign, welcomed Ramon Magsaysay awardee Bezwada Wilson on Kaun Banega Crorepati 12's Karamveer special episode to raise awareness about the inhuman practice of manual scavenging
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43 People Have Died Due To Manual Scavenging This Year, Says Safai Karmachari Andolan’s Bezwada Wilson On Kaun Banega Crorepati‘The practice of Manual Scavenging is the most barbaric and dehumanising practice known in human history,’ Ramon Magsaysay awardee Bezwada Wilson told Amitabh Bachchan on Kaun Banega Crorepati
Highlights
  • Manual Scavenging was made illegal in India in 1993
  • Over 200 people die every year because of Manual Scavenging
  • Safai Karamchari Andolan works towards rehabilitating manual scavengers

New Delhi: With an aim to raise awareness about manual scavenging which was banned by the government in 1993 but is still widely practised across the country, Amitabh Bachchan invited Ramon Magsaysay awardee, Bezwada Wilson, on Kaun Banega Crorepati 12’s Karamveer special episode that was aired on October 30. Because of this unlawful, unconstitutional and inhuman practice, at least 200 people die every year, said Mr. Wilson who was born in the family of manual scavengers and made it his life’s mission to eradicate the evil practice from the country. He has been fighting against manual scavenging for over 35 years.

Also Read: “Manual Scavenging Is An Unconstitutional And Illegal Act,” Says Amitabh Bachchan As He Pledges To Join ‘Any Campaign’ That Works For Welfare Of Manual Scavengers

54-year-old Mr. Wilson, who is convenor of Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA), a movement that was started by him along with other activists in the early 1990s focusing on liberating manual scavengers and helping them move on to other professions, said on KBC,

Picking up dirt even for one day is very tough. Every year around 200 people die due to the illness while scavenging. Even children in my school used to say to me that you are a ‘bhangi’ and they don’t even know what the meaning of ‘bhangi’ is. No human being is happy to accept that they are untouchable. I have not chosen to be a ‘bhangi’ but ‘you’ (people of this nation) have made me a scavenger. Till date, I am not ready to accept that I am untouchable. I am just a citizen of this nation like everyone else, a human being.

Mr. Bachchan, who is also the Campaign Ambassador of NDTV-Dettol’s Banega Swasth India Campaign, urged the viewers to act towards halting manual scavenging forever. He asked Mr. Wilson why people involved in manual scavenging continue it, to which he said,

The biggest reason for people to continue working as manual scavengers is ‘caste’. They will not get any other employment. If we tell them that we belong to a lower caste, they would say that we won’t be getting that work. They send them away saying that they would call them if they want to get their manholes cleaned. Our society has made it like this. They have no other place to work. Even if they secure education and wish to do something else, they won’t be given an opportunity.

Watch: We As Indian Citizens Must Take Actions To Stop Manual Scavenging: Bezwada Wilson

Mr. Bachchan asserted that the people involved in manual scavenging should be supported so that they can live a better life. While talking about the initiative Banega Swasth India, Mr. Bachchan said,

I am a part of ‘Swasth Bharat’ initiative. A lot of people participate. So I asked them if we can have an alternate solution to this. Then they told me about a factory in Aurangabad that manufactures a machine for cleaning the sewage. I immediately asked them where I can buy those machines. I purchased 50 machines and donated to the head of the organisation and told him to employ those machines. About a year later, I called to see how things were. I was told that they have sold the machines. They didn’t use those.

Mr. Wilson, in response, highlighted that at the individual level, some efforts may get failed but on a larger level, there are many sanitation workers who are waiting for machines. He added that technological development and support from the government and the society can help transform the state of the sanitation workers in the country.
Actor Anup Soni who joined Mr. Wilson as another guest on the ‘Hot Seat’, said on social media,

Mr. Bezwada Wilson has been fighting to eradicate the practice of manual scavenging from the society. It was an honour to be on Hot Seat with him in front of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan.

Also Read: We Need A Dignified Name For Manual Scavengers, Says Amitabh Bachchan

Director Anubhav Sinha also took to his Twitter handle to share a picture of Wilson along with Anup Soni and Amitabh Bachchan on Friday. He wrote,

Mr Bezwada Wilson has worked against Manual Scavenging for decades. So good to see @SrBachchan honoring a man like that on KBC. There is still a lot of muck to be cleaned from people’s minds. Yo @soniiannup I look forward to the episode!!!

The Evil Of Manual Scavenging In India

According to the Population Census 2011, manual scavenging, even after being banned, is the primary occupation of over 1.8 lakh Dalit families. As per the data collated by Safai Karamchari Andolan, about 1,760 people have died because of manual scavenging in the past 20 years. SKA’s estimates show that over 7.7 lakh workers have been sent into sewers since 1993 with complete knowledge and awareness of the dire consequences. There are nearly 26 lakh dry latrines across the country where humans are employed for cleaning excreta to earn their bread and butter.

The Central and the State governments have been taking steps to tackle the menace of manual scavenging including amending the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 and enforcing a new Act, Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. The act provides for identification of the manual scavengers and rehabilitation them by providing skill training to them and enabling them to find alternative means of livelihood.

Also Read: Delhi Strives To Rehabilitate Manual Scavengers; Officials Say Removing Social Stigma Critical

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,78,31,904Cases
6,39,24,968Active
12,96,89,916Recovered
42,17,020Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,78,31,904 and 42,17,020 have died; 6,39,24,968 are active cases and 12,96,89,916 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,16,55,824 41,831Cases
4,10,952 2,032Active
3,08,20,521 39,258Recovered
4,24,351 541Deaths
In India, there are 3,16,55,824 confirmed cases including 4,24,351 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,10,952 and 3,08,20,521 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,03,715 6,959

80,138 733

60,90,786 7,467

1,32,791 225

Kerala

33,90,761 20,624

1,65,011 3,679

32,08,969 16,865

16,781 80

Karnataka

29,05,124 1,987

23,820 318

28,44,742 1,632

36,562 37

Tamil Nadu

25,59,597 1,986

20,716 218

25,04,805 2,178

34,076 26

Andhra Pradesh

19,66,175 2,058

21,180 18

19,31,618 2,053

13,377 23

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,441 31

712 17

16,84,973 48

22,756

West Bengal

15,28,019 769

11,113 58

14,98,770 819

18,136 8

Delhi

14,36,265 58

581 1

14,10,631 56

25,053 1

Chhattisgarh

10,02,008 102

1,863 102

9,86,621 203

13,524 1

Odisha

9,77,268 1,578

14,538 389

9,56,828 1,899

5,902 68

Rajasthan

9,53,667 17

248 6

9,44,465 22

8,954 1

Gujarat

8,24,877 27

252 8

8,14,549 35

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,828 22

122 1

7,81,193 21

10,513

Haryana

7,69,913 29

712 0

7,59,566 27

9,635 2

Bihar

7,24,835 44

457 1

7,14,735 45

9,643

Telangana

6,44,951 621

9,069 72

6,32,080 691

3,802 2

Punjab

5,99,104 51

534 10

5,82,277 60

16,293 1

Assam

5,66,198 989

13,322 510

5,47,616 1,480

5,260 19

Jharkhand

3,47,173 36

252 8

3,41,793 44

5,128

Uttarakhand

3,42,139 116

632 13

3,34,145 129

7,362

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,462 118

1,176 5

3,15,908 113

4,378

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,027 153

1,217 80

2,01,289 72

3,521 1

Goa

1,71,146 94

1,058 35

1,66,941 128

3,147 1

Puducherry

1,20,915 100

962 17

1,18,158 115

1,795 2

Manipur

98,499 801

10,540 195

86,403 981

1,556 15

Tripura

78,583 222

3,482 2

74,346 224

755

Meghalaya

65,000 686

5,966 175

57,949 499

1,085 12

Chandigarh

61,953 1

31 5

61,111 5

811 1

Arunachal Pradesh

48,122 266

3,954 188

43,939 451

229 3

Mizoram

38,925 861

12,388 213

26,387 643

150 5

Nagaland

27,872 159

1,329 55

25,977 99

566 5

Sikkim

26,548 237

3,400 98

22,804 137

344 2

Ladakh

20,338 10

56 6

20,075 4

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650 6

29 1

10,617 7

4

Lakshadweep

10,189 11

84 7

10,055 4

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,537 2

8 0

7,400 2

129

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