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“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

Amitabh Bachchan talks about the plight of manual scavengers in India says he hopes for a brighter future for sanitation workers and prays for a dignified life as humans

“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

New Delhi: 78-year-old megastar Amitabh Bachchan today took to social media once again to talk about the plight of sanitation workers. Mr Bachchan termed manual scavenging as an “unconstitutional and illegal act” and said that he has pledged to join any campaign that works for the benefit of such workers. Big B who is one of the most active celebrities on Twitter took to the platform to share his thoughts on the act of manual scavenging, he said,

“Events of the day move you beyond words .. tonight is one such day .. manual scavenging is an unconstitutional and illegal act. Yet it exists and that work, suffer in human existence…Will join any campaign that works for their benefit, have pledged.”

Along with a tweet, Mr Bachchan also shared his thoughts on manual scavenging on his official blog post. He said,

There are times when the events of the day seem to last longer than what they were meant to be… the strength and the agony of them that live and serve in inhuman conditions and environs.. who get the discrimination of society, who labour in conditions that are humiliating yet for the presence and existence, they suffer?

In his blog, he also said that having a roof and feeding the family is sanitation workers prime objective. He added,

I am unable to contend with this and it shall end here. With the hope and prayer that the end for them that live in extraneous circumstances is of a brighter and existent life as humans..

This is not the first time Mr Bachchan has been vocal about manual scavenging. Previously, during Banega Swasth India campaign telethons, Mr Bachchan has spoken about the issue at length. In the recently held 12-hour #SwasthyaMantra telethon on October 2, Mr Bachchan said that manual scavenging was put to an end on papers back in 2013 but on ground, the situation has not changed much. Sharing a personal experience, Mr Bachchan added,

During the last NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India telethon, we had invited some of the guests on the show and I asked them if there is some kind of machinery available which can do the work of manual scavengers instead of person going inside the drain and I was told yes there are manufacturers in the market that make such type of machinery. I contacted one of the manufacturers from Aurangabad and purchased 50 such machines as a part of my contribution to end this inhuman thing. 25 of the manual scavengers, I specially called them at my home to hand over these machines and told these manual scavengers that they should use these machines for their own safety and not sell it. Till now, I haven’t heard from these manual scavengers nor I know anything about these machines. There are lot which is being done by people for manual scavengers but the reality on-ground is just not changing. We still are reading in papers about the deaths of manual scavengers every now and then. So, what is really happening on the ground?

Also Read: 12-Hour #SwasthyaMantra Telethon: Amitabh Bachchan Salutes Frontline Workers For Their Work

Answering Mr Bachchan’s question on what is being done in-ground to change this scenario, Magsaysay awardee and Founder of Safai Karmachari Andolan, Bezwada Wilson added,

Individuals can make a little change but through policy intervention, we can expect some bigger changes, when it comes to manual scavenging. We need companies coming together to work on the issue of manual scavengers, we also need the government to come up with a separate policy for manual scavenging in India and ensuring it is not practised in any section of our societies.

Mr Wilson further said that this is also an issue of caste and patriarchy, as there are women in various states who go and carry human waste in their bare hands.

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

In 2018, Banega Swasth India campaign Cleanathon, Mr Bachchan also said that we need a dignified name for manual scavengers and added,

We need to design a word to describe them, without sounding menial. It’s like we no longer say physically handicapped, we call them ‘differently abled’, in Hindi they were addressed as ‘viklaang’, we now have a more dignified name for them ‘divyaang’. I would wish for a dignified name for manual scavengers as well.

Mr Bachchan also asked for suggestions from the public in his blog post previously. He had said, “I shall welcome any suggestions for them, which portray dignity and respectability.”

Also Read: 12-Hour #SwasthyaMantra Telethon: Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan Sets The Agenda For Season 7 Of Banega Swasth India Campaign

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

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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